Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9

poem by Simon Perchik* (published in Verse Daily)
read about his process here:

Poems signed by Eric Epstein (link to his tube):

The Crystal Cabinet by William Blake

The Phantom Wooer by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Mother Tongue -- by Eric Epstein :

Peeling Winter Squash (i poetry finalist, March 2015)

Followers by Rae Armantrout
for another one in the Jan. issue of Poetry: Taking Place:

Today’s session involved a survey of the poetry scene— not the poetry of comfort, or the poetry of caring, but what kinds of poetry appear in various magazines. For instance, the first poem, by the “most popular unpublished poet” who is a lawyer, and whose description of his “process” is even more confusing than his poems! In his defense, people tried to find sense out of water images, and Marvin wanted to come to his defense just because no one seemed to care about his effort.
What do we seek from poetry? From art? Perhaps the best part of the weekly discussions is to find out more about our own expectations, learning from others.

The link to the next poem, by Blake, was to consider how his contemporaries considered him — “a perfect nutcase” as Judith remarked. We got into a discussion of how the word “beautiful” is expressed in sign language, and how the poem seemed different when viewed as a performance. How to understand a trinity… or Blake’s metaphysics… or a time period where Keats would write the ballad of la Belle Dame sans Merci…

The link to the next poem was again the ASL, and the time period — but when in the 4th stanza we arrive at:
"Our bed is lovely, dark and sweet;” it is just ever so tempting to quote Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

I wrote to Eric Epstein, the interpreter to find out if he interpreted the Blake and Beddoes for an assignment, or for some other reason.

With none of us specialists in ASL at all, trying to imagine the feelings behind language as “gunright” and “gunfight” —
How it might feel to speak with hands in a family where others can use voices, but you can’t is hard, so I’ve asked him also about his poem and if he could come to visit our group, and perhaps share his story.
These lines: Mother tongue twister ---
makes rules and wobbles,
hardly a dancer.
brought up the question — is there “lying” in ASL? How do you lie? Does anyone ever “stutter” or have a “sign” problem like a speech problem. Judith, as dancer brought up that Martha Graham’s father had told her that the body cannot lie.

Peeling Winter Squash was one of the 6 finalists on ipoetry . People liked it more than any of the others.

The Armantrout got us into a discussion about language poets. We tried reading “ Followers” in reverse order, line by line, which some felt made more sense, but also allowed us to think about what words were following what… and thread disparate ideas ranging from pine cones which take 2 years to be fertile to what it is like to teach Palmer script.
The other poem by her, Taking Place :
We also read. It had a lot more “pith” to sink into.

We ended on discussing a few more poems by women — and whether you would ever hear someone ask for “3 poems by a favorite male poet” the way some ask for 3 poems by a favorite woman poet”…

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