Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nov. 16: Metaphor as a way of thinking... Boland, Hafiz, Nye

Metaphor... as a way of thinking.
Marriage is a bungee jump – by Walter MacDonald
This Moment – Eaven Boland
Two poems by Hafiz
Two poems by Naomi Shihab Nye: Burning the old year; Boy and Egg

What fun to see how MacDonald develops the idea of marriage as a bungee jump!
Just as bungee jumping and marriage are unpredictable, uneven, so is the use of rhyme and slant rhyme.
The final two stanzas: strain/pain; vows/now
echo the rhyme of the opening quatrain: canyon/minion; brushed/enough.
The leap to the next quatrain

... The ropes felt new enough

and he swore he measured them, the fall to the rocks
a lovers' leap eighty stories long.

The end, in a long leap -- prepared for in the penultimate stanza contains two breath-holding enjambements...

Hand in hand we stepped up
wavering to the ledge, hearing the rush

of a river we leaped to, a far-off
cawing crow, the primitive breeze of the fall,
and squeezed, clinging to each other's vows
that only death could separate us now.

The contrast of Boland's "This Moment",
breathless, fragmented, is a different sort of suspense.
Masterful. We reviewed her reading last Thursday...

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