Sunday, April 12, 2015

poems for April 9

4 Ramages by Robert Bly (Excerpt from Turkish Pears) (See April 6 for The Slim Fir Seeds)
Nothing Gold Can Stay -- by Robert Frost
The Gift Outright by Robert Frost
The Birthday of the World by Marge Piercy (also discussed 4/6)
From Endymion -- by John Keats (Book I)
Spring Journey -- by Doris M. W. Meadows

When I see the French, "ramage" I of La Fontaine and his crow holding the cheese, with the fox taunting him to trill his "ramage" which certainly must be as beautiful as his feather. The role of sound in poetry adds a layer to the total meaning, just as the disposition of words on a page, which give the eye a clue as to what the silent arrangement will sing.
What I like about Bly's short pieces, are the possible references culled from so many poets...For example, last week, We just read Robert Frost's "Oven Bird" -- so if that "oven bird" flies into Bly's "Slim Fir Seeds" (eerie, the vowels say with i/i/ee... threaded through ..ds)Frost's sense of a diminished thing, and Bly's salty, impermanent kingdoms can dialogue.
In "Loving the Old Ones" and "I have Daughters, I have Sons", you can match the actual names to what they write about.
I don't know Jacob Boehme (1574), but do love Yeats' poem, "A Coat" referred to in the final stanza.
Our life is made of struts of these people who have contributed to the canon, the recording of them... and do love the image of paper as airplanes, the early ones needing a guiding hand to hold up the wing tips!

For the two Frost poems, one in steady rhyme, which appears after the poem morning his friend killed in World War I, the other, the unrhymed but rhetoric-filled poem Frost recited from memory at JFK's inauguration when he was unable to see his poem, "Dedication" to read aloud. "The gift" indeed, is the better poem for such an occasion, addressing the inner power that lies as potential in our land, such as she "would become" -- the conditional with a sense of balancing knowledge and mystery.

Endymion is a gorgeous Greek youth which makes me think that poetry is hungry for mythic creatures to be able to talk about such grand topics as beauty and truth in in both mysterious yet convincing ways.

Spring Journey is a delightful haiku-like poem which Doris kindly read for us. The grey, silver, black are like a brush painting.

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