Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poems for May 13

Hyla Brook—Robert Frost
1904-07 Frost did a lot of experimenting with sonnet form and variations, working out his idea of a "poetry that talked"--but never without rhyme and meter. The brook is still there on the Frost Farm, though I've never been there in peeper season. The association to bells is echoed in another poem, "The Onset," where he refers to the "peepers' silver croak." (Notes from David Sanders, our Frost specialist!)

The Breathing Field by Wyatt Townley
Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo
Someone Digging in the Ground by Rumi
Evening Walk by Charles Simic (1938-)
Nothing in Heaven Functions as It Ought -- X.J. Kennedy
The Wooden Toy -- by Charles Simic

Questions: how do we take the ordinary and make it astonishing?
Hopkins: poetry as speech, framed to be heard for its own sake and interests even over and beyond its interest of meaning.

Criteria for selecting a poem (XJ Kennedy) : experience which stays with you.

In April 2007, I went to a reading of Charles Simic in Seattle. The notes say" "Simic is perhaps our most disquieting muse" ((Harvard Review); his poetry brims with delightfully strange connections, dry wit, straightforward diction. He uncovers unexpected depth in apparently commonplace language." (New Republic) Born in Yugoslavia in 1938, he arrived in the US via Paris in 1952. His first poems appear in 1959. "Poetry is universal. It travels. He states, "Poetry is what transcends culture" vs. the edict poetry is what gets lost in translation. He is happy to remain unclaimed "at the airport just like a suitcase" --

the joy of the sheer adventure of seeing where it's going to take you...

My Turn to Confess: (from Noiseless Entourage, 2005)

We read all the poems and enjoyed them -- the repeat of the Harjo, we liked as much as the first time,
too long a discussion on Frost's experiment with sonnet/vernacular, sound/sense; still to discuss: Simic, "The Wooden Toy".

No time this month to write up anything with all there is to do to get the house sold and sorting and packing.
A relief to have an hour to concentrate just on the words.

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