Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Poems for February 9 (originally for Feb. 2)

Tableau: 6:30 AM by Kath M. Anderson
See by Sally Bitter-Bonn, from her book Orange
Creation Stories by Tom Holmes
Amelia Bloomer’s Stride by Anne Coon
I Know a Man by Robert Creeley: Audio: access

All poems from Poets Walk:

How to read a poem...
Tableau 6:30 a.m. seems to ask the reader to dwell with it... associations with tableau,
early morning... I thought it would be interesting to allow each person to read the poem silently... you could have heard a pin drop, and there was an uncanny sense for me, watching people read, of being an observer, just as the speaker of the poem was observing a moment between husband and daughter. Usually we just plunge into a poem -- but the idea was to allow
each participant to "view" the poem, the way one might in a museum.
When I asked what picture was evoked, it was fun to see the different reactions -- just like picking up on different details in a painting. For some, a sense of action, others, a capture of nestling. Mentioned: Role of northern lights, associations and memories of a father's fierce love to a little daughter, curiosity about the mother, her role and relationship.
The title prepares us for a "staged moment". It is fitting that the poem tile reads, "flares porous" which brought us to discuss porosity... as two moments which fuse. wealth of past... to now. Time itself has openings as in "the unphrased wealth/
of her three-year old dreams" --

Whatever complication of relationship (perhaps the mother is jealous of the father) in the poem, we did not sense conflict... As reader, we felt invited to look, to be part of the poem...

See: This poem we read in different ways.

Choosing where to pause, so with a progression of readers ready to pick up where one voice stops without a break. Rather magical!
We noted the difference between blending the title into the poem... and not. How that effects "See" as both specific and universal.
One person suggested that the poem end without the
"she gathers clouds
tucks them into her pocket”
Of course, the poem tile has “she gathers clouds” — and it is a charming image, but the person who offered it, felt it edged a little on the “precious”.

We admired how grass tips could be read as one more thing her jumper touches, but also, with “tips” as a verb —as if the grass was the agent “tipping” perhaps both to the line before, and leading to the next line.

Creation Stories:
The first, one after that, and then the next becomes a plural "creations" Stanza break... the last... the verb "invented" is used except one in the second stanza where "created" (not invented)is not associated with things but with the verb consuming-- an ironic twist of
uncreating. If read anaphor by anaphor vs. two stanzas, a quite different feel, but the poem more cohesive in two parts, the first, not so much about "us" as creation; the second about what we have done and the use of kiss, caress, embrace ending in feeding ourselves back to the volcano... perhaps an endless knot -- but also a sense of true end, with a changed use of affection as survival. I've asked Tom to comment on why the poem is "after W.S. Merwin and Rob Carney."

Amelia Bloomer's Stride:
Strong but not strident voice, evocative of the strong women who protested restrictions on women's rights from Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. -- up to images of Amelia Earhart or Katherine Hepburn in pants. Discussion included a comparison between a man wearing a "tight" bathing costume, vs a women who was arrested for such... bloomers on table legs... refraining from saying chicken "legs, thighs, breasts, etc." The key word: stride which gives the poem a bigger scope -- the very thing despised, the very thing that moves us along.

I know a man: Creeley
We listened to Creeley's recording...
how lines are staccato with gasps... sighs... but what is the tone at the end?
angry? dispairing? Although the recorded voice is less flat than in other poems, the question comes up of whether a poet allows his or her poem to be all that it is conceived to be-- or all the reader wants it to be.
Whether or not one wants to read it as an overheard bar conversation,
a joke of "knowing a man" without knowing...or the speaker revealing himself...
to steal from a John Kelly in the article below: "Creeley’s poetry is sparing without being sparse, emotive without being emotional, spontaneous without being uncontrolled".

For such a short poem, we spent some high-powered time on it -- !

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