Archive for the ‘Leah’ Category

“Winter Field” by Ellen Bryant Voigt

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

“The winter field is not

the field of summer lost in snow; it is

another thing, a different thing.

“We shouted, we shook you,” you tell me,

but there was no sound, no face, no fear, only

oblivion–why shouldn’t it be so?

After they’d pierced a vien and fished me up,

after they’d reeled me back they packed me under

blanket on top of blanket, I trembled so.

The summer field, sun-fed, mutable,

has its many tasks; the winter field

becomes its adjective.

For those hours

I was some other thing, and my body,

which you have long loved well,

did not love you.”

I really like this poem and what she does with the concept of a “winter field.” What is more like oblivion than a winter field? What is more cold and useless in its expanse than the winter field? I think this image is what I was trying to achieve in one of my poems. I also really like how the image of the winter field is interwoven with that of the speaker’s body, who “did not love you” while it was like a winter field. A summer field is loved, is played on, is used; a winter field is just an empty space.

Poetry Daiy: Monkey Mind by Steve Orlen

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

When I was a child I had what is called an inner life.
For example, I looked at that girl over there
In the second aisle of seats and wondered what it was like
To have buck teeth pushing out your upper lip
And how it felt to have those little florets the breasts
Swelling her pajama top before she went to sleep.
Walking home, I asked her both questions
And instead of answering she told her mother
Who told the teacher who told my father.
After all these years, I can almost feel his hand
Rising in the room, the moment in the air of his decision,
Then coming down so hard it took my breath away,
And up again in that small arc
To smack his open palm against my butt.
I’m a slow learner
And still sometimes I’m sitting here wondering what my father
Is thinking, blind and frail and eighty-five,
Plunged down into his easy chair half the night
Listening to Bach cantatas. I know he knows
At every minute of every hour that he’s going to die
Because he told my mother and my mother told me.
I didn’t cry or cry out or say I’m sorry.
I lay across his lap and wondered what
He could be thinking to hit a kid like that.

I think this is an interesting poem. The title seems to me to be doing alot of work; I think of a monkey jumping all over the place, and a child on the monkey bars. This child/speaker certainly had a curious mind, hopping from one idea to the next. Orlen also writes that “I know he knows At every minute of every hour that’s he’s going to die” which makes me think that the child’s curious mind didn’t know that it should stop–it ceased only because it was hit.

Poetry Daily Response

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Two Degrees and Falling by Barbara Lau

Sometimes nature, subbing for God,
has to throw her weight around, pin us
to the mat. It’s two degrees and falling
into a bone-whittling cold. The moon gleams
like a glass eye. Train whistles freeze in midair.
Inside, swags of frost cling to the windows.
We light fires as if man had just invented them.
We prop cabinets open so the pipes won’t burst,
and stare at the blank bird feeder,
the stark backyard now one thick strip of ice.
How can the stray cat, the redbird couple,
possibly survive? Will the mountainous pine
come crashing through our attic?

We get groggy on the dregs of Christmas
cognac, watch the kids wrestling by the hearth
like that scene from Women in Love
except they must keep on their flannels.
We wince when the lights flick off
and remember tales of the Donner party.
We’re grateful for matches, candles, canned
soup, blankets, beds, each other’s bodies.

Morning comes. The window frames
a freeze-dried kind of stillness
until two red and taupe shapes
swoop onto the feeder, alert, waiting.

I like this poem because of the cold images it conjures up. Hearing nothing but the cold and a train whistle feels freezing to me. I love how the moon is described as a “glass eye.” Sometimes it is so cold out it seems like everything is glass; it’s untouchable its so freezing. Also, I like how the author sympathizes with “the stray cat, the redbird couple.” While everyone is inside seemingly all warm and cozy, the animals are outside in the cold.

Quote from Triggering Town

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

“The poem is always in your hometown, but you have a better chance of finding it in another. The reason for that, I believe, is that the stable set of knowns that the poem needs to anchor on is less stable at home than in the town you’ve just seen for the first time” (12).

I have to disagree with Hugo here. To me, my hometown always has a sort of whimsical, nostalgic feeling which I am interested in writing about. This isonly amplified by the fact that I know that “the movie house wasn’t there, or that the grocer is a newcomer…”(12).