Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Poems for March 6

Choices by Tess Gallagher
The Barnacle and the Gray Whale by Cecilia Llompart
Yard Sale by George Bilgere
The End of Science Fiction by Lisel Mueller
Time Enough by Dennis O'Driscoll

Thoroughly enjoyable discussion with many chuckles!
Gallagher's short 12 line poem gives a lovely sense of epiphany as she contrasts singular to plural, the idea of "clearing a view" with allowing the possibilities (every tree with an unseen nest!) inherent in the "messiness". A new term: OSEC: Openness, Snow-Elevated Consciousness.

The lovely parable can be taken like that, but was written to address the Deep Water Horizon disaster. She thought the poems would be filled with anger. Instead, they turned out to have a quiet, contemplative, dreamy quality--an interesting comment on the process of composing poetry.
What pulls us, up and down.. how is it that conscience rubs against us like a barnacle.

Yard Sale allowed us a good discussion of "stuff", what we discard, the role of isolated facts unconnected to wisdom... -- what yard sales used to be like, and what they are like now... how we organize knowledge...

Just as an encyclopedia is "outdated" Mueller allows us to think about the "end of Science Fiction"
which has morphed into fantasy universes as the fiction of science is replaced by fact. 8 times, Mueller asks us to invent -- and yet the "new" calls on other myths: Adam and Eve, Ariadne, Ulysses, and then in the last stanza, "invent us as we were/before our bodies glittered/and we stopped bleeding.
David and Goliath, Lot's wife, whichever myth you want about a brother stealing his brother's birthright...

How do you invent something that once was? The harder reality speaks of slowing down, allowing emotion,
the difficulty of love. Mueller's poem raised many issues: what is poetry when it proselytizes? How do we live without myths-- and are we in danger of forgetting them...

The final poem, which looks a bit like a receipt, does not sermonize, but rather builds up everyday details, recognizable doubts only to conclude, the tongue in cheek conclusion that one lives, in spite of whatever thought you might have about it, one's life as it is, to its full.

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