Wednesday, March 16, 2011

O Pen -- March 14 -- poems: Cavafy, Frost, Stevens and other favorite poems

I opened with my favorite Haiku by Masahide, in honor of our Japanese friends.
Since my house burned down,
I know own a better view
of the rising moon.

A life: Nemorov
Ides of March: Cavafy
Spring Pools: Robert Frost
Nomad Exquisite: Wallace Stevens
Haiku by Shikibu
Old favorites read: Those Winter Sundays: Hayden; The Gift: Li-Young Lee; I'll tell you how the Sun Rose: Dickinson + "Why Some People be Mad at me." Lucille Clifton
A Life – Howard Nemerov : 7 lines. The first 3 play on syllables of innocence. then a stanza break and the italics emphasizing the disbelief, "was that it". The humor.
7th line. That was it.

Ides of March – by C.P. Cavafy: fleeting role of power... how to avoid betrayal, role of the lesser role...

beloved poem, recommended by Alan Shapiro: Spring Pools by Robert Frost
A different view of "power", in this case, the power of trees, and the interconnectedness of life -- flowery/water: waters/flowers --

Recommended by Heather McHugh-- Nomad Exquisite by Wallace Stevens
The lush music, the tension in the title, the sense of danger -- even though the alligator is young... and meet as in "suitable" sounds also like "meat"...

I love the repetition of the first line in the second stanza, the trinity of “green”,
How the palm tree seems to swim like a fish, and how “angering for life” seems like the vine has the strength to escape any danger. Here is a small alligator (and one wonders if indeed it sees all this) and a transcendently flamed nomad – with all those light “f’s” . Hmmmm. Is he pulling our leg? The “snow bird” is not necessarily exquisite! I love the heavy, almost muscular G’s in green, angering (which gold doesn’t have…)
The repetition of “brings forth” with “big-finned” rhyming with hymn… helps along the organic lushness of this ONE sentence to progress to transcendence along with the sibilance of sides, colors, forms, flakes, flames.

If you didn't know that the following haiku was written almost a thousand years ago, by Izumi Shikibu, what associations would you have?

Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight
also leaks between the roofplanks
of this ruined house.


No comments: