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."



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.