Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Poems for December 8 + December 11

For This Thanks by Sam Abrams
Keeping Things Whole by Mark Strand
An Apology for Using the Word 'Heart' in Too Many Poems by Hayden Carruth
Christmas Trees – Robert Frost
Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree by George Starbuck
As Long As We Are Not Alone by Israel Emiot, translated by Leah Zazulyer

for Dec. 11:
Poems at Rundel:

for more poems on Winter:
New England by E.A. Robinson
Snow-flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Ballad of the Harp Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay
This is the Latest by Ange Mlinko

We had discussed the Carruth and Starbuck poems at Rundel Dec. 4 -- and it is fun to have a larger group cast new light on successful poems!

Because Marcie had complained about the somber tenor in the selection of poems before, this group of poems included some playful aspects everyone enjoyed.
Like the Alberto Rios poem discussed 12/15, the rhyming, Hallmark-y tenor of
"An Apology for Using the Word 'Heart' in Too Many Poems" perhaps has a coy wink at the old meaning of "apology" as defense for a word, much needed, if put to good use.

David Sanders, our Frost expert says this about Christmas Trees:
"I have a special edition of that poem--a small pamphlet with a beautiful set of engavings done for the occasion. And I believe that poem was used for the very first of the special cards that Frost would send to friends and patrons for a number of years--all of them now, of course, collectors' items, as was probably the intention. In short, Frost was clearly making some fun of his own commercial concerns in that poem. My favorite lines are "Then I was certain I had never meant / To let him have them."

The Abrams and the Emiot are both on Poets Walk, viewable on the art drop rochester site.

If you want to have fun with a Christmas tree, and our twisted pagan/religious traditions, the Starbuck allows one to see the visible trimmings in the boughs,
the nativity story bundled in the root. Fun, but deeper than a simple calligram.

The Emiot poem repeats "We shall rejoice", calls on the living hearing of plants, with the footnote that they grow better with music...
the Yiddish saying A stone also hears" comes from the Yiddish saying, "As alone as a stone -- a beautifully rendered music. We read as well
Hour Of Sadness

Hour of sadness
rain all the time
everything close
and full of goodbyes;
I am still living,
even though I have given myself
a divorce many times,
yet like a distant planet
I still spin myself around you
by some unknown law;
with so many things,
like Saturn's rings you encircle me,
thus are silent
all the trees and all the branches
rising to the planets

and the next meeting, Maura brought us in stones -- as we had mentioned the tradition of placing stones on graves...

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