Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 15 + 19 : UU -- Todd Davis

We started with Veil by Todd Davis -- like a parable.

How the poem moves from low, and moves to high;
how spare the detail of loss, mentioned casually, alongside the dark of an evening.
How without fail, days repeat, seasons repeat. How the marks of grief are as much part of life, indeed, like the fog where it is heaviest, marks the hardest, on the flowers that grow the fullest.

April Poem : the delight of Japanese Haiku artists, and an almost Haiku sense, yet not,
in the regulated couplets. Again, the sky, vs. the earth, the Fresh wind and petals blown to the fresh horse dung.

Ananias. Salt -- visible sign; from the bowels of the earth;
prayer -- how a hen has no hands, but wings...
and symbols of transformation : snake moulting -- from blindness to the light -- he is touched and the scales (weighing pros and cons? justifications? beliefs? or simply the shell which like petals fall to dust.

Although many of his poems are celebrating the break of dawn, and the appearance of light, this is one speaks to the mystery of disappearance – the idea of W.H. Auden that praying is attentiveness to each moment, and what the other has to say.
Unlike Aubade -- the song to the dawn or regret of lover's parting,
here, the atmosphere is beautifully rendered. The fox... the specificity of place, the perfect placements of line breaks, which flow, pause, breathless and breathing ... capturing a moment which asks, what of this rich "now" is not prayer?

Aubade : image of the trees branches against the sky --, and digging deep into the earth with their roots -- the music of something growing... note by note, a bridge to all other songs,
and all the other trees that greet the dawn, raise their arms and voices to the sky and keep
singing "even when they failed to reach it".

Mystical and deep. Stem cell... another trigger from a painting, this time 14th century creation of Eve -- quite unlike other paintings -- with Eve arising from Adam's hip -- this slow birth... scientific names for bones, catfish spawning, and how in the beginning "chaos and fury shaped our love-- but out of that shape/something more: the voice of od, / or the simple sound of wind/among turning leaves."

Not just fig leaves. turning leaves. This sense of aliveness.

The Sleep of Pears --
what will purge us of lament... of grief...
Judith mentioned it reminded her of ee cummings

when god lets my body be

when god lets my body be
From each brave eye shall sprout a tree fruit that dangles therefrom
the purpled world will dance upon
Between my lips which did sing
a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes
will lay between their little breasts
My strong fingers beneath the snow
Into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass
their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be
With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

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