Friday, November 28, 2014

Poems for Lunch November 20

To Spareness -- Jane Hirshberg
The Sentence -- Ana Akhmatova***
Moon by Frederick Smock;
Theory of Memory by Louise Glück;
Dreamwood by Adrienne Rich
Song in Winter by Marianne Boruch
Song Again, in Spring

see discussion on November 17 (summarized by Kimberley) of the Hirschberg and Akhmatova.
Hirsjhfield's definition of spareness by defining the opposite, in a full round of views
honors Spareness as if to praise it.
I brought up the French épargner: to spare also means to save. Hirshfield's words invite opposite meanings like that, for spareness.

For the Ahkmatova, the discussion revolved around how to understand a fragment of a translation.
What survival skills-- how to live, if you kill memory, imagine brilliant day/deserted house?

The Smock seemed childlike -- first stanza engaging, but the next two arrive like adult sledgehammers.
So, in case you didn't get it: We're the illusion the moon is looking at. There's no magic, no discovery.

The Glück comes from her new book, "Faithful and Virtuous Night" which just received an award.
Prose like this is not as compelling to me as poems. If the future will erase the present... or vice-verse, what is the difference of understanding dream/hypothesis vs. what we think is?

I picked Dreamwood because one of my friends used the opening lines as epigraph for his chapbook and I find them intriguing. We noted "late report" was not "last report" -- late as in tardy, as in dead. -- material and dream.
Compared to the short prose passage, there was substance in images: typing, map, wooden stand...

The Boruch poems also border dream/reality. Doom is or it isn't.
Shape seeking..
this "we", this "our " and "us" thing...
a play on part -- as a share of something -- part coward...
something divided...
strange meditations.

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