If I only look at the titles of the poems selected... I am struck by the preponderance of B's
in the first three... a Biblical admonition in the first, a sense of an old Ballad telling of woes in the next two... Writing this now on June 30, with three sessions of discussion in mind (June 14, 21 and 28) I think of the Bob Ross reference of the "mirthful elms" and "elated basket of laundry" in the Catherine Moore title, as I read the Ruth Stone poem again.
Her opening line, "The elms stretched themselves in indolent joy," with the adjective "indolent"
attracts my mind to the unusual pairing of a connotation of "lazy" to the more rapturous quality of "joy". But here, it is not the happy artist high on marijuana painting a happy world.
Indolent has an indifference implied-- I am, without needing to be connected to anything else...
refusing to exert myself... avoiding pain ...
Ah. Being Human... deservedly wiped out by a flood... perhaps cursed again,
in a world where elms adopt a less than positive human way of being, as they express a usually
positive affective state. Joy has a sense of being close to "saved by grace" as in Joy to the world! But this is not a poem about being "saved"... but a poem alluding to what is not there anymore...
I love this little poem... how roses "pretzel"... how the speaker of the poem is taken over
so that names of things are whispered by lips -- (the onomatopoeia sp/ps indeed whispers and uses the lips; the "tz" of pretzel twists and winds). Whether or not "Mrs. Mix" exists, the x in her name pretzels both visually and aurally... like the roses in her garden.
10 lines which make me want to spend time with them... Before the blight... do you remember Elm trees? How they gave our main streets green shadows under their "loose tents"?
Is there a blight as well that destroyed the roses compared to sensuous, big-bosomed nudes
(with the lucious sounds of "Limoges cabbage blooms"... What is the feel of being rocked
in "sinewy arms of summer" -- the season which normally I associate with lazy... although
for the growing season, the rich reward of ripened berries, tomatoes, not mentioned in the poem,
has not been a simple, seamless exercise of growth...
The use of a bird to convey "the strangeness of myself" doubles in the impact of the strangeness.
Brooks is a master story teller with herslant rhymes, repetitions,
The Ballad of Rudolph Reed delivers a powerful story of a black man who moves into a white neighborhood. He and his wife are described as "oaken" -- and I think of the attributes of oak:
wise, strong, able to endure. "Oaken" has an old-fashioned flavor to it, and the fact the Rudolph's name is Reed brings to mind the fable of La Fontaine, where the flexible reed is able to survive the storm, but the oak, uprooted.
Do we not understand the hunger for a safe home?
I shared this quote as well:
We returnedto first poem: