Monday, August 4, 2014

poems for August 11

The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost (to read and think about -- we won't have time to discuss it but do thank David for mentioning it 8/4!)

Poems allow us to project, lay claim on the world, without being chained to any one truth. I look forward to our discussion and sharing of next weeks poems.

Living With The News by W.S. Merwin
(We grow accustomed to the Dark) #428 - Emily Dickinson
What Gorgeous Thing by Mary Oliver
A Poem – by WisÅ‚awa Szymborska
Before and Every After – Marianne Boruch
What does it mean to "be the daylight" and what is darkness?
The first poem with its suspended lines, can be read line by line slowly, or one voice in a big whoosh...
What news? That someone has died, that your moment of death is coming near, or some news that grabs you with a tenacious immediacy.. In this 17 line poem, only the second line does not complete a phrase.
tide keeps///
coming in faster

Who is this someone, who happens to be me? The poem gives clues that lead into different directions. We particularly enjoyed "real estate" as in reading the paper, right before the obits.
Dickinson with her inconsistent Capitals, M-dashes, sometimes rhyming, sometimes not, allows us to enter, or exit darkness, as one person remarked, rather like the experience of a bi-polar person.

Juxtaposed next to Oliver, the question of craft comes up -- which for Oliver is whether it is strong enough to save her from sentimentality"?
Some thought yes. One thought no. Look at the proposed revision and discussion below.

— ing rings through out the poem, even in “pin…k” She is not preaching, and uses the G of gorgeous, a rather flamboyant word, to end with G of grateful at the end.

With condensing, does this poem reach the reader more directly?

"I do not know what
the bluebird keeps saying.
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts
without questions."
Szymborska's poem brought up a host of ideas with her use of double negatives and perspective of an "otherworld".
Who is "you" -- and what miracle is it that there is nothing/usual in being brought together.
Carmin shared a poem her sister had written, written at her memorial. The gist is this:

“Our moment in time.”
In a nanosecond, (3 hundred billion+ years from now)
will your molecules and mine collect together into you and me again
for a brief reunion...
and wonder if we’ve lived countless other lives before and after.

Other thoughts:
form is emptiness and emptiness is form... nothingness and everythingness...
Robert Graves: inside out ...
John brought up “The night inside me.” Jackson Brown...
"I used to lay out in a field under the Milky Way
With everything that I was feeling that I could not say
With every doubt and every sorrow that was in my way
Tearing around inside my head like it was there to stay

Night in my eyes, the night inside me
There where the shadows and the night could hide me
Night in my eyes
Sky full of stars turning over me
Waiting for night to set me free"...

when we exist we occupy space... miracle that we disappear back into non-space...
title: ars poetica... how a poem comes into being... Chapman’s Homer. David quoted the final stanza of Frost's Desert Places:
"They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars - on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places."

Judith quoted Pascal and we could have continued all afternoon.


The final poem
is complex, rife with the history of the world. Kathy kindly shared a context of medical students brought into contact with art. It is the kind of poem that needs a group -- for instance... Bertram is not Bertrand in the "what would Russell do" -- but I shared the quotations on this site which shed their light on the poem.

Much more to say on all the poems, but as ever, a quite enjoyable read aloud and discussion.

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