First week draws to a close over at Modern Poetry, but the debates rage on regarding Emily Dickinson & Walt Whitman. Work had me fairly occupied both Saturday & Sunday, but I’d check my email from time to time to see what subscribed threads were pinging. Let’s put it this way, I unsubscribed to most of ’em — these hardcore students could care if it is the weekend!
The last two hours have been spent perusing one of this weeks poets: William Carlos Williams. PennSound’s link offers a listen to Williams reading the assigned “Smell!” & “Danse Russee”.
“Danse Russee” has hit a rather personal nerve; feeling a great kinship to Dr. Williams. Not because I oft dance naked while the house sleeps, but because I understand his acknowledgement of life alone. Unlike Whitman, who embraces everything and sees connection with everyone, Williams understands that one’s place can divide one’s direction. He is a husband/father/doctor/poet/artist — in that order. He seems to question that order in his poem, perhaps wishing it to be in reverse. The suburbs are as closed off and drawn as the ‘yellow shade” he danses behind.
As one who has forever apologized for not being able to figure how to break from her roots; to do what she swore she’d never do, stay in IA, let alone the burbs, I get that isolation. As one with ‘artistic’ tendency (please read, I’m not calling myself a poet by any means) there IS a loneliness in living where the shades are always drawn and the lawn is picket fenced.
Enough self-disclosure, but, that is why I love poetry. It draws you in; it is that old woman who says ‘come in, have a cup of tea, sit for a spell and I shall tell you a story you may enjoy’; and you do for ever bitter tear it may bring forth. A romantic notion? Meh, just wait, we’ve got weeks to go, not to mention Stein is up soon. Besides, I pave my writing with more glass than sand.
Tomorrow…we shall take a look at the assigned essay, it’s a close read of Miss Emily! oy!