Monday, April 30, 2012

An Answer

This poem may be a little too influenced by the fact that I'm reading Edgar Allan Poe, but here is my answer to that eternal question--

in the end--
it is a river.
Why else are we
patterned in cycles?

Swept up
in evaporation
the you and I
indiscernible boundaries
joined together in heat
and in coolness.

in the beginning--
a pool was formed
by countless
indiscernible contributions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

After a delay....

Spring is just bursting through in Michigan.  Yesterday as I walked home from working at the reference desk, where students scurry past to print final papers, I saw birds hop in similar paths pecking at the freshly green grass and I realized once again why I love the Midwest; the change in seasons always seem like a gift.

This blog has spent a short winter hibernating, but even in my absence, I have been thinking regularly about Susan's prompt from January; to re-read favorite poems and ponder on what makes the poem compelling.  After rereading dozens of contenders I returned again to Emily, and to the poem that spawned this blog:

THE LEAVES, like women, interchange
  Sagacious confidence;
Somewhat of nods, and somewhat of
  Portentous inference,
The parties in both cases        5
  Enjoining secrecy,—
Inviolable compact
  To notoriety.

                                                 Emily Dickinson

What is it about this poem, and much of Emily's work that moves me so much to write poetry? 

I love how this poem reads like an exhale, picks itself up in the middle of a conversation, as if to answer some question, or to interrupt an already flowing conversation with an abrupt observation.  Poetry, to me, is a way to answer the questions that we can't even form the words to ask.  As another favorite of mine, Robert Hass, wrote, "a word is elegy to what it signifies."  In this way, poems are elegies to abstract observations, to what the heart feels but cannot say.  This is why I love poems that pick up in the middle of an idea, or thought.

Maybe this can be our new challenge then - to answer an unspoken question with our next poems.

Happy spring, and happy writing!