Saturday, September 24, 2016
September Is by Mary Jo Bang* (discussed at Rundel on 9/29/16_
Ever After by Joyce Sutphen
Metaphors Of A Magnifico - by Wallace Stevens
At the Moment by Joyce Sutphen
Pluto by Maggie Dietz,
Magdalene Afterwards, Marie Howe
compare her work with that of her mentor, Stanley Kunitz. I attached this passage of the "testing tree" to the packet.
you might enjoy reading how she came about writing them: at the top is “more” which if you click on it will take you to “about this poem” https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/magdalenet
You might wish to compare her work with that of her mentor, Stanley Kunitz –
below the final stanza of his poem, The Testing Tree
In a murderous time
the heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
through dark and deeper dark
and not to turn.
I am looking for the trail.
Where is my testing-tree?
Give me back my stones!
Just looking at the titles, where does your mind go? How would you write a poem to follow the words?
I love that a poem could be fiction as well as truth, but what nabs us is the telling.
---Mary Jo Bang poem, September Is --- her recursive use of memory, enigma, in trying to understand the unreality of a terrible loss. We thought part of its power was that it could express our collective cultural loss after 9-11 and also express the very personal loss of the author's young adult son to an overdose , or anyone's deep personal loss.
---We were glad you gave us the Pluto poem (humor) and the 2 Joyce Sutphen poems ( accessible and meaningful).
Wallace Stevens poem, Metaphors of a Magnifico left us scratching our heads but most agreed the tone was ominous although couldn't say specifically why.
---Marie Howe's Magdalene Afterwards ---how does Magdelene look throughout history, across cultures, for women today? What does it mean? What does one do, after a tragic death to get to transcendence?
---Some of us were familiar with Kunitz's Testing Tree and thought it deserved looking at the whole poem. Jan B. mentioned this link which I said I would pass along for you to send to the group. Kunitz's Testing Tree (full poem), his preface on poetry (if you want to skip the blogger comments at the beginning, scroll down to the words "...Before the poem itself - a prose bit from Stanley, which I hope is also evocative and useful ..." )