Monday, March 3, 2014

Poems for Lunch -- February 27

We will start with the two we didn't have time for:
Oliver, First Snow
Dunn, The Same Cold
also planned:
New Year's by Dana Gioia
Petrarch by Richard Wakefield (the costs of our realism)
The Shape of the Year by Richard Wakefield
Bottled Water by Kim Dower
Gratitude to Old Teachers by Robert Bly

We discussed the two “snow poems” — the lyric, more philosophical Oliver(with
her delicate 3-syllable “rhetoric” and “oracular”) vs. the more realistic
“dead-battery-dawn” Dunn.
If you don’t know David Whyte, Jim
brought him up w/ Mary Oliver, as he started a fan club and uses her
poetry in his many essays. Here's his website:
It seems a little trite to say”
We shape our self to fit this world/
and by the world are shaped again” and yet it goes beyond platitude.

"New Year’s" — without completing what object it possesses is a clever title
— just as “The same cold” leaves us guessing in the Dunn poem… We spoke
about title, expectations, how paying attention to the title after the
first read can be a good tool.

We examined the intricate form of Wakefield’s Petrarach (identical
embraced rhyme for the first two (quatrained) sentences (air/ight) and
repeating rhyme triples (wise/bone/he// eyes, alone, see) with an old
fashioned tone — how would the sonnet be different if “free form” or
without these elements to discuss the costs of our realism? The Shape of
the Year, likewise, seems gimmicky, based on artifice, yet the familiarity
of the the length of days echoed in the length of the lines of rhymed
couplets works.

Bottled water is just fun… good use of brand names and endless sentences
wrapped through the line breaks. Questions embraced, the way we cloud
issues, and can end with an ironic poke at our earnestness!

The Bly has a simplicity in the balanced duo of what lies on the surface,
the metamorphosis of youth, the flow of life, possibility,
The “oneness” of the Oliver more credible to me, here.

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