Wednesday, May 4, 2011

O pen for May 9 -- set up!

Clean-up Day:
 reflections
 passage from Chose Something Like a Star – Robert Frost: (written in 1947)
 2 examples of Ridgely Torrence (for Frost’s “To Ridgely Torrence/On Last Looking into His 'Hesperides')
 Comments about WCW – Poem –
 Comments and link about David Ferry
 The Soldier: by David Ferry
 3 pdf’s of poems from April issue of Poetry “Yeast”, 1979, p. 13; “Dry Cleaners”, p. 16
 + one Kimberley liked, “ It's That Time" as she really identified with the non-existence of sound that you can actually hear in the middle of the night.

Discussion: 4 poems: Text of "Yeast" below
Yeast: A word you can't quite say/without itching, flinching; it's not easy / to ignore its squirming appetite, stay / your primal juddering. And yes, at / night, each microbe gurns in the salty sea/ of gut and gullet, born again, boldly eats/ as you ate it, brews its own queasy tea/ of proto-raunch which it will quickly sate, / birthing wanderlusting vigors, as yet/ unknown to microscience. They sashay, set/
Out for the toes or gape through your eyes at / your drooping lids, your fat bunch of keys, at/ this internal motel's boss, bellhope, lackey's sat/ in the throne of his slumber, a mercy seat.)

On Monday, May 2, Kathy brought up the feeling of immense “grey” areas we navigate as we try to understand the complexities of what we read in the news.
I found this passage helpful from from Billy Collins’ introduction to Anthology of Poet Laureates:

JFK asking Frost to come speak at his inauguration “as he had something important to say to those of us who are occupied with the business of Government, that he would remind us that we are deling with life, the hopes and fears of millions of people… He has said it well in a poem called, “Choose Something Like a Star” in which he speaks of the fairest star in sight and says:

It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

Below, another poem by David Ferry which gives a personal face to a soldier.

Each of us can make a statement about poetry.* My reflection after Monday’s discussion was that poetry that speaks to the human and humane allows “evidence”
To become art and the comfort of embracing “not knowing” as we come up against the multiple variations that lie between black and white.
* To quote Reginald Shepherd, p. 156 of the May issue of Poetry: “When we say, ‘ this is what poetry is’ or ‘this is what poetry does’, we almost always mean, ‘this is what the kind of poetry that interests me is’ or ‘this is what the kind of poetry that I like does.’

from Lala, a 14th century Persian poet, says this:
I didn't trust it for a moment
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.

The Soldier – by David Ferry

Saturday afternoon. The barracks is almost empty.
The soldiers are almost all on overnight pass.
There is only me, writing this letter to you,
And one other soldier, down at the end of the room,
And a spider, that hangs by the thread of his guts,
His tenacious and delicate guts, Swift’s spider,
All self-regard, or else all privacy.
The dust drifts in the sunlight around him, as currents
Lie in lazy, drifting schools in the vast sea.
In his little sea the spider lowers himself
Out of his depth. He is his own diving bell,
Though he cannot see well. He observes no fish,
And sees no wonderful things. His unseeing guts
Are his only hold on the world outside himself.
I love you, and miss you, and I find you hard to imagine.
Down at the end of the room, the other soldier
Is getting ready, I guess, to go out on pass.
He is shining his boots. He sits on the edge of his bunk,
Private, submissive, and heedful of himself,
And, bending over himself, he is his own nest.
The slightest sound he makes is of his being.
He is his mother, and nest, wife, brother, and father.
His boots are bright already, yet still he rubs
And rubs till, brighter still, they are his mirror,
And in this mirror he observes, I guess,
His own submissiveness. He is far from home.

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