Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 4

Poems for lunch May 1 included:
The Pig - Anonymous
Bumper crop – by Bob Hicok
First Morel by Amy Fleury
Lilacs by Amy Lowell

See May 1 for discussions.

Earthly Meditations by Robert Wrigley
The New Song by W.S. Merwin

I have been fond of Wrigley's "In the Bank of Beautiful Sins" for some time,
and wrote quite a bit about Benton's Persephone, which is found on the cover of this small collection of poems. Earthly Meditations contains the Wrigley's lush language
used in "Benton's Persephone" -- just speak out loud:
lawn lumpish with goldfinches,
hunched in their fluffs, fattened by seed,
alight in the wind-bared peduncular forest.
Little bells, they loop and dive, bend
the delicate birch branches down.

From lumps to bells... with peduncular giving a slight sniff of fungi,
a bit of brain-fold, as well as a cluster of flowers.

Repetitions and sounds:
Notice the bland, Darwinian sand: bone wrack
and the following stanza: (after the sudden jerk of confessing he killed a frog when 12 years old)

Bland, hum-drum, quotidian guilt—
which introduces a series of u-sounds and this marvelous conclusion.

... Tomorrow's
a shovelful, the spit of the cosmos, one day
the baby's breath is no longer a rose.

For the Merwin poem -- it is one of the marvels of his writing where each line suspends in space, without punctuation, independent, yet bound to the poem
with the title "The New Song" closing the poem as the last three words.
It is only this moment of the poem, reading "there is no time yet it grows less" and how once we thought otherwise, lulled in the first stanza by time, and grounded in the second stanza by sensory experience.
I love how he can hold these contradictions.

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