Tuesday, October 25, 2011

list of poems for Oct. 31/Nov. 2 + and a small note or two

Poems for October 31 and Nov. 2

From Kathy:
--- Eavan Boland (reading at Berkeley, at minute 6:58)
--- “Of Antibiotics and iPods: On the Troubles, Irish poetry, and the details of an old Dublin Kitchen” ( interview)
--- THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 @ 5 PM Plutzik Reading Series, Eavan Boland, Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Libray U of R

Eaven Boland: The Pomegranate
Kay Ryan: Things Shouldn’t Be So Hard
Janusz Szuber: About a Boy Stirring Jam
Jane Hirshfield : Three-Legged Blues

Wednesday Nov. 2:

Hayden Carruth: They Accuse Me of Not Talking
From Kimberley:
Adrienne Rich: Storm Warnings
Rich's work, the poet W.S. Merwin has said, "All her life she has been in love with the hope of telling utter truth, and her command of language from the first has been startlingly powerful."
Margaret Atwood: The Door

If you have a teenage daughter, Boland's poem, "The Pomegranate" captures a glimpse of the depth of the Persephone/Demeter story -- the archetypal break, the letting go of what is most precious, because all a mother CAN give to her daughter are "rifts in time". The nine line "She put out her hand and pulled down the French sound for apple..." ends with "by the time/the story was told, a child can be hungry."
The short, staccato sentences in the present tense pierce the internal thoughts --
as the love and blackmail story handed down from ancient times weaves into a modern story. If Yeats and Sylvia Plath had a love child, it would be Eaven Boland, someone said. Boland seeks to bless the ordinary, sanctify the common.

Kay Ryan's poem is characteristically funny, yet never without prodding us to think beyond the words. We enter a world of "should" which of course, indicates this is not how it IS, and a small snapshot of philosophy along with how we wear down the things in our life -- how we too are worn down by the "grand, damaging parade" --
which has an ominous "better watch out" as we balance our public and private lives.

It's refreshing to have non-Hallmarked moments and language.. Like the boy stirring jam,
seen by his grown-up version who understands, like Robert Hayden, how little we understand of the details -- whether "love's austere offices" or how important it is to give our full attention to whatever we are in the act of doing -- for only that will provide memory and meaning.

Hirshfield's 3-legged blues is a pure delight -- tone is "Buddhist meets the country western" which provides a delightful tongue-in-cheekness.

Storm Warnings: Adrienne Rich
Perfect alignment of barometer, measuring the pressure and internal weather
"weather abroad/and weather in the heart alike come on / regardless of prediction."
Without giving personal details, Rich provides us powerful contradictions and images -- glass, shattered fragments, and glass as protector, sheathing the candles; how clock and weatherglass are no guarantee of control of time -- what are instruments but simple proof of naming, a proof AGAINST something that has nothing to do with what it will do in spite of our measures. We can only keep the windows closed, draw the curtains, shield the light against the draught whining through the keyhole.

brrrrr. It is not the storm -- just the warning -- and we know, storms come and go.

Hayden Carruth takes another view of storm -- if words are what the speaker feels -- and yet he is struck dumb... it strikes us harder to hear the question: "To which love can you speak/ the words that mean dying and going insane/
and the relentless futility of the real?

Finally, the Door -- by Atwood --
an amazing tour de force of repetition and variation that take us through a life --
ever at the edge of crossing the sill, but not until the very end.

Thank you Kathy and Kim for your choices!

No comments: