Monday, February 13, 2012

Poems for February 15 + Love in different forms!

With Valentine’s Day coming up, let’s compare different styles from different ages! We’ll compare how Jean de Sponde (Joanes Ezponda, in Basque, 1557 – 18 March 1595) a Baroque French poet, and contemporary American poet Richard Wakefield play with love’s “position”, skip back to 19th century England, for a glimpse of Dante and Petrarch provided by Christina Georgina Rossetti. One of the Valentine postcards available from I showed last week included lines from by ee cummings somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond. Feel free to bring in one of your favorites to share. For a list of “love poems” consult the RH column at this site: :
The poem by Jane Kenyon is simply a different seasonal selection, which like the one by Farouk Asvat balances idealized notions Hallmark provides of Valentine’s day.
With love,
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings
Writing about Love – by Richard Wakefield
Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember)by Christina Rossetti
Sonnets on Love XIII by Jean de Sponde (translated by David R. Slavitt)
Bright Sun after Heavy Snow by Jane Kenyon
Often I have thought of you-- by Farouk Asvat

. ee cummings with his play on "close" as verb pronounced almost like "clothes" and close as adjective — the frail gesture entering again as intense fragility… the parentheses working like two hands cupping the voice of the eyes…
Emily was reminded of this: My Star – by Robert Browning — and recited it all by heart!
All that I know
Of a certain star,
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue,
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!

Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

And to go on to the poem by Wakefield — did you see how LOVE made a vertical column from title to last word? How two of the "love" were in quotes — as it is a poem about writing about love… How he moves the poem, in iambic pentameter, from right to left, starting with the word "Love" iambic pentameter going to the right,starting with the word "Love" and slowly moves it one foot at a time so that the poem's ultimate line (still in iambic pentameter) ends with the word love?
David Sanders (retired prof ) recently joined the group and is writing the introduction to Richard Wakefield's new book, called A Vertical Mole ...
It is great to see form in contemporary poetry which is not contrived. Love is not easy to write about — but using love as the spine of the thing, his rhymed couplets moving, so the rhyme doesn't clunk, the natural images leave us believing the stick of love for all its flowing away, will continue to surface.

Long discussion about Rosetti and looking at her sonnet, starting the Octet, with "I wish I could remember"… The sestet with "if only I could recollect" replete with more vigor, exclamations… what is it she remembers? Perhaps a feminist slant would be — I wish I could have a happier memory to work with"

The Jean de Sponde (Golden age of Spanish poetry — late 16th c.) had a positive "ooo" rating. Maura said it could fit in Lois Wyse's book, "Poems for the very married". Martin commented that in this one, it is more about Faith, than simply the importance of love — a faith that love can change the world.Do you believe that things CAN change if rooted in love ?

The Jane Kenyon poem felt negative after all these doses of love… Marcie did a great summary: It's a pissy poem, the kind you could write if you have cabin fever — and ends on that wooden pin going up and down like a (third) finger that says
f… you, or fling it, in its own clothespin language.

The last poem, I didn't say anything about any of the names mentioned — but it helped to know about Carolyn Forche, her activism, the S. American scene.
The punctuation really works in the beginning of the poem.

There is a kind of death
In the land of my birth,
Offering me another cup of sadness:

That is all there is.

I have thought of you:

the rest of the poem follows this second colon...

One stops at the line
We give sustenance
To the memories stacked upon memories

which continues

Of the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Thinking of their dear departed
The detained
The dead
And the disappeared,
Our beloved desaparecidos.

The reader is part of this "our", even if we have not witnessed El Salvador,
or other places like it.

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