Tuesday, May 10, 2011

verse versus

I've been kidnapped by work! But did find the time last weekend to go to the Ullapool Book Festival in my favourite Highland village with some friends who came up from Glasgow. After a lovely day by the sea and a dinner at the excellent Ceilidh Place, we retired to the cozy Parlour Bar for a poetry reading. My husband and friends were good sports, reading their provided poems with gusto. And on Sunday morning I went to hear my friend and colleague Chris Powici read from his chapbook as the sun streamed through the windows of the Ullapool Village Hall.

Sometimes I forget about poetry. I'm so buried in my editing work and my own prose that I don't remember how moving and powerful words can be when stripped down to the core meaning, or to their many, often conflicting meanings. Poetry forces us to pause, reflect, and think. Poetry pushes forward an image and challenges the reader to a dual that you are surely to lose.

I feel poetry is very much alive, if only as lyrics. I count Jay-Z and Eminem as postmodern poets who are just as sociologically important as the bards of the past few centuries. Liz Lochhead and Carol Ann Duffy can wrench readers so deeply into their words that reality slips away. I don't read enough poetry, and as a voracious reader, I would guess that nobody reads enough poetry.

I found this link to Poetry Tuesday and thought it fitting. Poetry Tuesday is a good goal: a poem, every Tuesday, to fall into with vigour.

 The woman who first captured my lyrical world was Emily Dickinson. I did a report on her at age 9 and soon was swooned by her entire catalogue and, of course, by her story. Her world was words, and for many moments in my young life, her words were my world, too.

This is one of the most sorrowful, heartbreaking poems. I think it still retains that youthful naivete that Emily had when writing it. Enjoy. Thanks, Emily.

HEART, we will forget him!
You and I, to-night!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
 I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim; 
Haste! lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him!

1 comment: said...

Poetry is such an unpredictable realm of writings. I've never been satisfied with my poems, however I like reading those created by others. I'm excited with your writings. Thanks a lot for sharing your talent with others.