[lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 17:57:51 -0700

I was never very fond of Merwin, and this poem doesn't cause me to change my
mind. The ee cummings lack of punctuation doesn't help, although I don't
recall that cummings capitalized even the first word.  The poem is
light-weight, simplistic and not very interesting.  


I like this one, also by Merwin, better:


The Morning

The first morning
I woke in surprise to your body
for I had been dreaming it
as I do

all around us white petals had never slept
leaves touched the early light
your breath warm as your skin on my neck
your eyes opening
smell of dew






From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Mike Geary
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 4:26 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical



>>You would be much better off not to begin paragraphs like your long one
with "you still don't get it."  You thereby set yourself up as someone who
does get it.   There is irony in that because your subsequent sentences
indicate a lack of appreciation for some of the common types of poems.
Suppose a poet wants to use a little irony.  You must understand what he is
saying in order to "get it."  You can't be humming along with the tune you
think you hear.  He intends you to pay attention to the sense of this poem
in order to appreciate the irony. <<



Aaaaarrrrrgggg!  You STILL don't get it!  You don't get my point.  I do get
my point.  So there.  Let's get specific:


Read this poem -- I'll tell you later who wrote it -- not me.



A Contemporary


What if I came down now out of these

solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain

day after day with no rain in them

and lived as one blade of grass

in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter

from the beginning I would be older than all the animals

and to the last I would be simpler

frost would design me and dew would disappear on me

sun would shine through me

I would be green with white roots 

feel worms touch my feet as a bounty

have no name and no fear

turn naturally to the light

know how to spend the day and night

climbing out of myself

all my life



Do you like it?  Why / why not?



Mike Geary

hanging around a few more hours

in Memphis



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