Thursday, September 18, 2014

I am Trying to Break Your Heart (Kevin Young)

The title of this poem by Kevin Young reminds me of a Wilco song. The images within kind of remind me of the interior of an Urban Outfitters. Is this a poem centered in the early 2000s? As I read, I imagined that this was N's bitter rant after a bad breakup at university.

Urban Outfitter objets d'art


Ha, yep. I totally call it (or least, I totally would like to) - from the Wilco-inspired title to the ironic use of taxidermy to describe (a lost) love to the bits of antiquated language (definitely an English major, this one). Okay, maybe not, but I can make the case for it. I do enjoy poetry for its malleability.

I enjoy this poem for its sense of time and place, its use of metaphor and its standout lines - namely, this one which coalesces all of the poem's metaphors and angst into one crystal line:

Favorite line: "Loneliness is a science—"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dog and Snow (Paul S. Piper)

A quick one tonight, as I'm composing this on an iPad. Dog and Snow by Paul S. Piper.

It's an easy read and sweet. It annoys me with its proper noun/names for the players of the piece: Dog and Master. Just bugs, is all.

I don't really care for this poem. It has no emotional connection for me. No fun language or excellent description. It's boring. I don't even get a sense of what the dog looks like.  Though, I suppose, that's purposeful what with the given generic name/title "Dog".

I think it's dull, but what do you think? (Vote below!)

Favorite line: "Dog sees white. Arctic / light"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stairway to the Stars (Ron Padgett)

Today's is kind of related to yesterday's poem, I think. Today we've got 'Stairway to the Stars' by Ron Padgett.

The opening bit cracked me up since it is like so much of poetry. The King (or, the writer) makes this grand statement and even though its meaning is shrouded, the audience is still expected to soak it all in question-less. "No one dared ask what it meant.", but the King "seemed satisfied by the beauty" and simply left the confused people behind. Ha, and isn't that replicated a million different ways by a million different authors.

Or even in billions of ways as each person is a King in their own right since we all attempt to share what we find meaningful, but are, at times, unable to do so. Perhaps, sharing viewpoints and thoughts is for naught. Since as this poem says, the King, his life and his thoughts, in the end, all "flew away to a place in history / where nothing mattered."

So then, I guess, why does anyone write anything? Selfishness is my first guess. "Cuz, I want to" This poem may be backing me up with its last line: "And then there was one." If, in the end, all that remains is yourself then doesn't that make you your most important, most ardent fan?

Favorite line: "He seemed satisfied by the beauty / of the logic that had arrived"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reflective (A. R. Ammons)

Today's poem by A. R. Ammons is very clever, cute and short.

I like the word 'mirror' and the title 'reflective' and how they are physically reinforced by the language used and the way the lines/stanzas are cut.

I like the idea contained that everything is a reflection of something else and most clearly, is a reflection of you. I adore how the poem begins with the line "I found" and then describes how nothing was truly discovered. That what was "found" had been part of the author all along.

Of course, I, in reading this poem, am only discovering shades of myself. My "talk" about this poem is, of course, made up of my own interpretations and inclinations and in the end I am simply reinforcing my own ideas.

Ah, but so it goes. (comment!, plz - more voices = more viewpoints, less mirroring)

Favorite line: "and that / mirror / looked in at / a mirror"

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fathers and Daughters (Amanda Strand)

Let's begin again, shall we? I've been having a rough kind of year and a return to poems, to beauty, to writing and thinking beckons and, hopefully, soothes.

Today's poem will be Fathers and Daughters by Amanda Strand.

This poem appeals to me with its language and its pathos. The shock and grief were palpable despite the poem's brevity and lack of histrionics.

The scene she paints upon leaving the hospital ("The snow fell./His truck in the barn,/his boots by the door,/flagpoles empty./It took a long time for the taxi to come.") is the heart of the poem. I felt such a sadness at those lines - the winter scene; the fact that the taxi took a long time to arrive. God, that line about the taxi is fantastic. She's so lost at his death and the ability to move on will be slow in coming.

And then the last: " “Where to?” he said./“My father just died,” I said./As if it were a destination." It's a bit pat, a nice round ending, but still it contains the sadness she reflected earlier in the poem. It makes me think 'no, for you it's not a destination, but it will waylay you for a while'. Which makes me think about destinations, about finality, about death (being the end, a resting place).

This poem to me is not so much about the grand concepts of death and permanence as much as it is a personal poem of a private (though universally shared) sadness. But still, I responded positively to it because 1) it's an emotionally-charged poem and 2), it allowed me to branch off and consider much larger, impossible-to-resolve concepts.

Favorite line: "It took a long time for the taxi to come."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall Parties (Becca Klaver)

I adore a good fall party, so I assumed that this poem by Becca Klaver would be right up my alley.

And it's fine, I mean, yeah, but I'm just not excited by it. Despite the couplets, I don't find much thrill in this poem's language. What a bunch of boring nouns and verbs.

 And really, isn't the real point not that she loves fall parties more than summer ones, but that she loves the present more than the past? I get a 'grass is always greener' vibe from the poem.

But then again, maybe my problem with the poem simply has to do with the silliness of comparing the seasons of parties. Dunno.

Favorite line: "I'll warm your house."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

forgetting something (Nick Flynn)

forgetting something by Nick Flynn.

I love the format of this poem. It's a prose poem with line breaks. So neat! To see the fissures in the whole. Neat, neat, neat.

The poem itself - well, in the middle I get confused - it seems muddled. Maybe that is the forgetting. The ends though, are sharp. For instance, I adore the concluding line:

Favorite line: "if we see each other again is to make / a cage of our bodies—inside we can place / whatever still shines."

Monday, November 11, 2013

You Can't Survive on Salt Water (Kalamu ya Salaam)

You Can't Survive on Salt Water by Kalamu ya Salaam.

I think this poem is kind of great. It's a political poem about a modern crisis (Katrina) done in an old form that tends to have Nature at its heart. Water is at the center of both the poem and the form. Every haiku has water in it. The poem as a whole is drowning in it. So's the City. Ooh, maybe the fact that there are 7 haiku reflects the 7 seas? Too far a reach? Perhaps, but it's still a cool poem and concept.

Favorite line: "rejecting wet people's funky stank"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's obvious (Greg Hewett)

Wee, it's been some days since my last post. A mini-vacation, if you please. (I do.) But back now, so today's poem is by Greg Hewett.


This is the Frida Kahlo stamp that is referenced in the poem. I can see why it made him write a poem on beauty - this art is not very reminiscent of what I know of Frida Kahlo and her art. The blush and the large necklace seem off, since what I know of Frida Kahlo's art is of oddities and pain and harsh looks. This stamp does seem to be a glamorized version. It's her body, but not her soul.

Favorite line: "beauty is a postage stamp"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cartoon Physics, part 1 (Nick Flynn)

Cartoon Physics, part 1 by Nick Flynn.

I just want to squeeze hug this poem. Real world physics is hard and frightening (the universe is just slowly spreading out into nothingness..... why?????), but cartoon physics? A balm of clearly defined rules. It's so sweet, the different examples he uses - how children play at being heroes, defining their own solutions to their self-defined problems. How, cartoon, childish physics work as long as you believe. As long as you refrain from looking down once you run off the cliff, as long as you keep your faith, your naivete, your childishness, you'll be fine.

Just, >HUG<

Favorite lime: "if you jump / you will be saved"