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|
|Somewhat of nods, and somewhat of|
|The parties in both cases||5|
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!