Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27: Merwin, Wright, Herbert, Jonson, Stroud, cummings, Young

Identity – W.S. Merwin (from 6/20 line up)
Bedtime Story – Charles Wright
Love (III) -- George Herbert
Hymn to the Belly – Ben Jonson
Night in Day -- Joseph Stroud
may my heart always be open to little – ee cummings
Is This Why Love Almost Rhymes with Dumb? -- by Dean Young

What a cast of characters! What wonderful poems... Time's hunger in a scary story turned into a "sometime dance"; Hymns to the Belly, love turning up in Conversation with God, and contemplating the other...

The Merwin is left over from last week -- IDENTITY:
You are what you draw, what you study, what... surrounds you, enters you, what you imagine...
or is it that what you think you draw, is drawing you --
A hedgehog becomes a means for feeling the dark undersides of stones --
but whether one becomes a hedgehog, Hans, the attention spent observing, until one becomes so keenly aware, edges disappear.

In the next two poems:Beispiel compares Wright to Herbert: I love the way all those somethings in the middle of the poem act on and against the natural world: wringing, making, licking, stringing, inching and scratching. In the poem, the bedtime story of existence is simply time itself. Poets are concerned with the subject of time -- I guess the concern is mortality generally -- because not a minute goes by when time does not influence our daily, imaginative and spiritual lives. So, for Wright, time is what he calls the "Something Dance."

Beispiel speaks about Wright's switchback on George Herbert, "who in his masterpiece "Love (III)" lets God into his soul. It's a poem that begins, "Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back" and ends, "'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.' / So I did sit and eat." Here, Wright offers the "meat" to time. Then, like Herbert, letting time in, Wright allows the imagination to consider time more closely, well, another time."

How to take a scary story -- and then have it dance! Time is ravenous -- but Wright treats it a whole new way -- Marcie mentioned "atavistic" as flavor -- this is more than just spooky campfire story.

We questioned: The "generator" in the first line -- yet it has both the idea of "genesis" of something... as well as a machine. cicadas would be too confining.
Also, the "cleft feet" -- come far after the subject they are attached to. Imagine Time’s cloven feet and it seems the devil is walking.
A string of something -- imagining... followed by a string of questions of what we ought to do... How powerful to go from : "Something is inching its way into our hearts,
scratching its blue nails against the wall there." (the nails being fingernails, not spelled out as "evening's dusky blue nails" nor a handful of nails waiting to be hammered in...) should we clap our hands and dance
The Something Dance, the welcoming Something Dance?
I think we should, love, I think we should.

A great poem to memorize and tell again and again!

Along with the next ones!
The Joseph Stroud poem weaves a first line of "night not wanting to end" to leaps to different blacks, to all the glisten of light captured in obsidian, crow, watermelon seed... not scary, b/c of the guzzling sunflowers...

ee cummings beautiful love poem... and what "usefully" has to do with selves with perhaps an agenda not confined to TRULY loving...

We all chuckled and roared at both the Ben Jonson and the Dean Young.

Uplifting discussion!

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