Monday, June 6, 2011

O pen 6/6/2011 : more Poet Laureates, Szymborska, Dean Young

O pen discussion – 6/6/2011

Daystar – Rita Dove
Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri -- Mona Van Duyn
Vermeer – Wislawa Szymborska
Ash Ode -- by Dean Young For more Dean Young : see interview: Scarecrow on Fire – Dean Young From Dean Young’s new book: Fall Higher
Patriotic Tour and Postulate of Joy –Robert Penn Warren

3 poems by women; 3 poems by men, but all with the human concern --
what is this all about? I quoted from the introduction of David Orr's book "Beautiful and Pointless" -- for what IS the point of so many words... whether poetry of witness, sharing a moment...or puzzling over the complexities of suffering and paradoxes of human motivation.

Rita Dove's title Daystar might leave you thinking about stardom, and the way we cannot see stars in the daytime, and "pure nothing" in the middle of the day -- in what seems to be a woman's effaced existence. The idea of starting a poem with "she wanted" immediately sets up a sense of lack, and the adjective police will attest to the power of verbed negatives: slumped, the pinched armor of a vanished cricket.
I love the power of "why" which makes a comment before jumping after a stanza break to answer a question.
And just what was mother doing out back with the field mice? Why,

building a palace.

Mona Van Duyn's poem allows a reading of "you" to be a lover, the earth,
and calls on all the senses with great intimacy. A great poem to read if you feel tempted to be a pebble hoping someone will mistake you for a planet!

Szymborska -- translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak p. 55 of American Poet Spring 2011 issue.
The power of paint to capture an simple act that is never finished
And the power of this small, one sentence poem which references
Not a portrait of a milkmaid, but the way she is painted,
“in quiet and concentration” and the way art can allow us to survive,
believe, hope that the world too, will go on. The unstated questions,
what will determine the world’s end – and what was the original Polish for the verb “earned” and what is “end”.
Kathy brought up the article by Mark Doty : how poetry consoles us with the thought as we witness – As long as there is beautiful art – the world won’t end…

Dean Young : Reading his poems gives image to thoughts about what we DO, what happens to us, and the slippery nature of language.

Scarecrow on Fire – in his book Fall Higher and on p. 55 is different from “Scarecrow on Fire” which has in a “flow” version where words come into a box S L O W L Y

You might enjoy listening to this poem: (I put a few lines down)
Selected Recent and New Errors

My books are full of mistakes…
Conveyor belt caught the arm
New kid on the job


Do you think the dictionary says to itself…
I’ve got these words that means completely different things
And it’s tearing me apart.

Twisted silver wire of stealth and deception…

We have absolutely no proof God is not an insect rubbing our hind legs together to sing.

How wonderful our poisons don’t kill her.

The Dean Young poems are chock full of images... first a sonnet, also an Ode...
Where the volta "flies off" (along with a woman...) to turn to the sieve of self and idea that one cannot catch another, fix another, keep another reinforced with the metaphor of the sea written in the desert.
The Scarecrow poem creates a collage of images which cinder down into further ashes.
Do we really ever KNOW anyone? What burns when we are cremated? What remains in the ashes?

Robert Penn Warren's poem with his clever repeating form provided a good example of irony.

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