I thought I’d try waking up to two new poems every day this September – at Poetry Daily and No Tell Motel. Then I thought I’d try blogging about them.
This isn’t an original idea. A while back, Julie Carter did it, as did various others, although I think they commented on three. Anyway, here’s my first day’s reflections:
Poetry Daily offers A Farm in Virginia near the North Carolina Boundary by Kelly Cherry. It’s a ‘time moves slowly and nothing changes despite huge activity’ kind of poem, spelled out (unnecessarily, I thought) in the “it’s busy here; a lot is going on/ most of the time” line. There’s plenty of description certainly, but I didn’t feel that much was going on in this poem. No surprises at the level of vocabulary, imagery or metaphor. The need to rhyme results in fair bit of waffle (that’s an argument against waffle, not against rhyme, incidentally). Perhaps this one is just not my kind of thing. 2/6.
No Tell Motel offers a week’s worth of poems by the same poet. Kim Gek Lin Short explains in her helpful poetic statement that her poems are entries in an angel’s datebook. This first one, Potlatch, is a prose poem about the angel’s sixteenth year. The title stems from a Native American winter festival, but can be used to refer to any feast or gift, linked in the poem to “the wear in my panties,” which links to the previous sentence. I’d interpret sexual activity here. She’s been granted freedom by the elders, but that freedom seems fairly nominal by the end of the poem. She’s consumed by self-disgust (the meat)? The ending, those last three lines or so, is chillingly effective. I’m not so convinced by the first half. It’s trying too hard to be weird, but the attitudes seem entirely conventional in a 21st century secular milieu. Also, “Simple at first, I…” forced me into thinking of the “I” as initially simple, even though I suspect that isn’t what’s intended. I’m underwhelmed by this one, but nevertheless intrigued to read more. 2½/6.