Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My feet do NOT show it

As you may know if you read the Inkpunks blog, I went to a wonderful poetry class yesterday, full of great insight into poetry revision. The teacher, David Biespiel, proved excellent--easy-going, insightful, interesting--and I look forward to taking more classes with him in the future (money willing!). And I have to say, I am now even more excited about poetry than I was before walking in the door!

It's weird and wonderful to be returning to poetry. The first words that I ever wrote and fell in love with were poems--well, lyrics, actually, to a song/ode to our cat that my kind family members interpreted as a wonderful poem. I was eight, and I loved the way I could fall into the words and feel the world drift away from me. I'd always loved to make up little stories in my mind, but when I wrote poems, the actual words themselves held power. I loved feeling them come together on the page.

It wasn't until college that I began to feel more interested in prose than poetry, and I've really neglected the poetic realm since then. As a kid, I devoured all the poetry in the house, nearly memorizing our collected works of Robert Service and chewing my way through great swathes of Shakespeare's sonnets. (And of course, I'll never forget the poem "Mice," by Rose Fyleman--one of the few pieces I have completely memorized!) It's been wonderful to fall back into reading poetry, which is such a blissful, enchanting experience.

Speaking of enchanting experiences, I'll leave you with a poem that we read in our class. It is easily one of the most amazing things I've ever read, and I thought about it the whole two mile walk home.

by William Meredith

Touching your goodness, I am like a man
Who turns a letter over in his hand
And you might think this was because the hand
Was unfamiliar but, truth is, the man
Has never had a letter from anyone;
And now he is both afraid of what it means
And ashamed because he has no other means
To find out what it says than to ask someone.

His uncle could have left the farm to him,
Or his parents died before he sent them word,
Or the dark girl changed and want him for beloved.
Afraid and letter-proud, he keeps it with him.
What would you call his feeling for the words
That keep him rich and orphaned and beloved?

1 comment:

Lelia Rose Foreman said...

Wow. Beautiful.