Friday, December 9, 2011

Dec. 8 Bly, Howe, and Ginosko

Thanks John, Noel, Jen, Joyce for the good discussion yesterday.
Everyone: Here are the names of the poets for the first two:
Tightening the Cinch: Robert Bly
What the Living Do: Marie Howe — both the title of her book, and the title poem.

How do we deal with loss and remain "engaged"? What strikes us — what in our daily-ness makes us yearn "for this to last"? I love that "neighboured" is a verb — reminding us of our shared humanity.
John's summary seemed perfect.
Bly shared a sense of angst, Howe, a sense of yearning; "Elegy" by Ben Howard had a warm sweetness to it; Wendell Berry offered a little mini-sermon on the importance of reverence; and Ann Carson, a perfect epitaph which embraces our being — it reminds me of Taoist — thought to word, to action, to habit…
And brings us back to examining "thought". She understands our perception of being "scattered" -- pins it without commanding us, like Bly to "hold on" -- rather life is held gently in parentheses (this simple thing.)

Here is a term Robinson Jeffers (mentioned in Bly's poem) coined. Look how powerfully, he translated his thought to word.

"Jeffers coined the phrase inhumanism, the belief that mankind is too self-centered and too indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things." It offers a reasonable detachment as rule of conduct, instead of love, hate and envy.... it provides magnificence for the religious instinct, and satisfies our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty." (from wiki)

Thank you all for the rich sharing! I look forward to next week!

PS. Noel — thank you for the 10 questions posed to John Ashbery! He answers with his signature aplomb and wit without pretension! His answer to "Do you think about death": "I've never thought about it. There are not that many things to write poetry about. There's love and there's death and time passing and the weather outside, which is horrible today. I'm so glad I'm not writing poetry today. The weather gets to me when I write.

PPS to myself: Ginosko: from Greek. To know.

No comments: