What is Fame? How is a river "famous" to a fish? What do we find out about fame and relationships? Each pairing makes you think about circumstance, the role and/or effect of one thing on another. A loud voice breaks silence; a cat is a threat to a bird; a tear is visible on a cheek; an idea matters to the person who cherishes it; Footwear determines where and how we walk--
It is not really "famous" in the sense of being important, recognized for a role, or being the expert at something. Discussion included reference to Katherine Mansfield, the art of carrying things lightly...
Charles Lamb, do good by self, without expectation... found out by accident...
The final image of the pulley brings the aspect of "useful role" into play -- and aligning oneself
to a sense of purpose, the possibilities that provides. If a pulley tried to be a boot, to protect a foot as it walked, that would make one useless pulley, wouldn't it!
I woke up this morning looking at the brightness of the moon... and an hour later, all of a sudden,
fog is everywhere, so I can barely see the church tower across the street. This sentence has nothing poetic about it. But if I say... The fog is famous to the moon -- imagine the possibilities --
how the moon, hanging in its place, receiving light from the sun, visible to the earth, really doesn't care one way or another if we earthlings can see it. Fog, as part of the weather, transforms how WE will perceive something. It is not life-giving, as the river is to the fish; but changes something
about our feeling about what we see. I wouldn't say the fog is famous, except as how it has been
talked about... its uncanny way of throwing down a magical veil that transforms what we "normally" see. Famous works that way-- we are who we are, and then out in the world, someone decides
that what we do deserves attention as it changes the way we are perceived.
Now, how do you think about silence, your cheek as the canvas on which you paint your emotions,
what you want to be remembered for?
The Sandburg poem gives us a chance to consider how Experience shapes us. Yes, capital E,
experience. In French, the word means experiment, which is what we do as we proceed, trial and error, through life. We can hope, predict, look at different possibilities others have chosen... but finally, our choice of map will influence the "how" of what we experience.
What is your map of the day? The discussion examined the seeming paradox of these lines:
and the meaning of "querulous" -- and how that fits with "robust"
And only as one looks robust, lonely, and querulous
There's a bit of the flavor of "the Road not Taken" in this poem, celebrating choice of each individual.
How does Marge Piercy get away with seemingly "telling" statements inspired by doors? Look at the m's in the first line.
"Maybe there is more of the magical"... the "but" that hangs as the last word in the stanza before
dropping through space to a line about cathedrals, which stretch up to the sky-- which then is not blue
but stormy, which leads to doors to other darker places... filled with "nuclear monsters"
and then another stanza break to this humorous consideration:
"most just yield a bathroom or a closet.".
The earthy tone is balanced by the "liminal" : relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.//occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold") is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete
Every exit an entrance somewhere else...
The Marjorie Saiser poem had come up when we discussed Laura Kaschiske's "The Wall" a few weeks ago. I liked the juxtaposition with Piercy's "doors" -- some lead to good news, others to bad and everything in-between.
What separates one human from another? Martin suggested we each write a poem about the most important thing about being in a relationship...
But, O Pen is not a writing group, but rather, a place to appreciate good writing... so this is something for people to do elsewhere. How do we use imagery. rhythm... sounds...?
The closing stanza gives me shivers after the hurling words of anger at the Cosmos...
The I love you, we want to stand up to life. al
The next poem gave rise to a discussion about taking care of parents and stages of life...and relationships. "Adult children" doesn't quite capture the role we play as we take care of our parents... How many of us have had the experience of a mother or father say to us, as daughter or son, "is that me"?
The language is beautifully expressive.