Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ode to the Un-poetic Soul

Reading poetry is NOT my favorite pastime.  I think it is because the reader has to analyze, probe, ponder, and investigate the meaning of each poem written.  It feels at times like a surgery of literature… ripping a part each stanza and dissecting word by word in search of the meaning.  I just want the author to say what he or she means to say plainly.  No extra brain power needed in reading it.  I am a deep thinker, but not when it comes to poetry.  It takes too much work for me. 

In reading the poetry for this section, I found a new appreciation for poetry.  One author I read really jumped out to me because he was an artist of sorts with his words.  As I read, it was almost like the scene unfolded before me on a white canvas.  When I finished the last sentence, the picture was complete.  The poetic artist I am speaking of is William Carlos Williams. 

One of my assignments during this session was to compare two of this author’s poems.  In reading the short poems chosen, I couldn’t imagine coming up with 200 + words to explain my understanding of what I read.  But, as I read them over and over again a picture began to form in my mind.  I imagined myself looking at a painting on the wall taking in the whole scene.  It was telling a story.  I could see it!  Imagine that… me getting poetry.  Unbelievable!  This is what I read….

The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends                                                  
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

*This one I imagined a picture of an old farm house with barn, shed, chicken coop, etc… Country living at its best!   I also imagined an elderly man dressed in overalls working hard to keep his farm afloat.  My husband grew up on a farm and had “farm chores” he had to do every day.  It sounded fun and exciting to this city gal, but probably not if you had to live it out on a daily basis.

Here is the other poem I read…
This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

*This one I think would be an awesome commercial.  A man comes in the house after a long day of work.  No one is home yet.  His wife and kids are gone.  He is famished.  He looks in the fridge hoping for something to tide him over until dinner.  He sees the plums sitting there all pretty seemingly set aside for a purpose, but he cannot control his stomach.  Temptation wins and he probably thinks… “forgiveness is better than permission in this instance.”

Have you ever done that before?  Acted on the understanding that “forgiveness is better than permission” in any instance?  What happened?  Sometimes it ends well other times there are consequences to be paid.  I imagine in this poem that the man’s wife smiled, kissed her husband on the cheek, and offered a forgiving sigh.
I guess I shouldn’t write poetry off entirely…. at least not yet.  Just like reading anything, I need to find author’s I click with and settle into a poetry reading groove.  Happy reading!
Living to leave a legacy,