Monday, May 3, 2010

O Pen discussion May 3

Opened with one of the love poems by Shikubu --

in the world
is usual today.
This is
the first morning.

Indeed, this Spring, nothing seems usual. And how one yearns for the first morning of anything.
As if chanting, "today is the first day of the rest of my life" -- and for a moment, all feels so possible.

Today brought so many poems before "O Pen" ... and I wonder how Shakespeare might have dealt with it all. Sonnet 87: "Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,/In sleep a king, but waking no such matter."

Frost's 14 line poem, "Mowing" seems to join the master-mistress play on a - king --
mist-a-king; ma-king; wa-king -- nutshells hiding the nut in #87.

the whisps of hay, the scythe at work --
the word "swale" which contains the whisper and "wail" but means
"low, hollow place, often boggy," 1584, special use of Scottish swaill "low, hollow place," or dialectal East Anglian swale "shady place" (c.1440); both probably from O.N. svalr "cool," from P.Gmc. *swalaz.

The negatives: no dream; no easy gold.
the associations: fay/elf; idle hours

Dream returns bolstered with fact of work. And yet that magic of the hay, cut, left to rest in the sun -- and that too is work, the making.

The Digging: Seamus Heaney

How the pen is squat; snug as a gun in first and last stanza.
How the stanzas gather strength from 2 lines to 3, to 4, to 5, back to two.
to 8; to 4 to 3.
The repetition of dig and digging. How time inserts "his straining rump among the flowerbeds/bends low, comes up twenty years away;

Digging into a legacy.

Wonderful find of two poems by Rachel Contreni Flynn
Rachel Contreni Flynn was born in Paris in 1969 and raised in a small farming town in Indiana. She got her BA from Indiana University in Bloomington where she majored in journalism and history. She received her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College in 2001. Her first book, Ice, Mouth, Song, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2003 winner of the Dorset Prize. She has recorded her work for the Bloomington/Normal Public Radio station, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was featured as The Spoon River Review's Illinois Poet in 2005. She also received an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship. Flynn works at Fortune Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 consumer products company. She teaches poetry courses and workshops occasionally, and lives in Mundelein, Illinois with her husband, Patrick, and their children, Grace and Noah

The Yellow Bowl
Dead Center

Beautifully crafted -- the yellow bowl like a still life; the "if" suspended and accelerated
loneliness has lost its shape, and this quiet is only quiet.

Dead Center: Ominous detials and what it is to lose a mother; what it is to test a father;
stages of grief.

Louis Jenkins:
Earl and Telephone:

Poignant. Delightful. Earl -- all seals (substract the R) (and the seal voice)
and how we live by denying what is painful...

The problem of hearing. The problem -- what to listen to -- and just what is said.

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