Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mary Oliver and Wislawa Szymborska, poets

A great deal of poetry today  -- all the better because I was able to introduce several people to Wislawa Szymborska whose poetry I enjoy very, very much.  The smallish group gathered for lunch were open to and receptive to a selection of Szymborska's poetry that I gave them to look at and read.   Later in the day in a class with a dozen women who don't usually read poetry and aren't attuned to the mores sophisticated word play and thought of someone like Szymborska, several chose to offer poems by Mary Oliver, a very accessible and deeply satisfying poet. (in picture above with furry friend) I was happy to hear a number of the women who are not readers of poetry express gladness and delight at hearing several poems that truly spoke to them.

While I love Oliver's nature poems, her relationship with the local fauna especially but also the flora and her  prodding the reader to be more self-aware, and I take just every possible opportunity to introduce people to Szymborska, I am going to quote from Tess Gallagher's book Amplitude:

      What Cathal Said

"You can sing sweet
and get the song sung
but to get to the third dimension
you have to sing it
rough, hurt the tune a little. Put
enough strength to it
that the notes slip.  Then
something else happens.  The song
get large."

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Now, Tess Gallagher has it right with her poem "What Cathal Said." This will be written down with my collections of words -- in a beautiful Asian style, blank pages, book that my daughter gave me years ago. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Aren't blank books wonderful? I am a compulsive collector and will have to live a long time to fill them up. I'm glad you like it, Barbara.