Monday, January 26, 2009


Originally uploaded by jhhymas
This is from the first series of photos I took here at the old farmhouse at Eagle Beach, outside of Alanson, Michigan. (See yesterday.) The clouds drew me in. Tonight I met with my group of writers and we all read new work. It is very encouraging; I am just back from there. One of the things I shared was this from Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry (Donald Hall) (Clipping Loc. 1230-42) It definitely relates to Robert Bly's discussion that I excerpted below.

"As I was finishing the late poems of Exiles, something in me began to feel stifled, dumb, inarticulate. My grand language failed to express or reveal crucial areas of feeling. I flailed about looking for other ways to make a noise. I had admired Marianne Moore's syllabics—keeping a syllable count, avoiding metrical feet. Holding onto the count of syllables as to a guardrail, I wrote a poem called “Je Suis Une Table.” I thought is was a poem of wit exploiting a language error--tables can't talk-but it wasn't; it was an outcry, complaining of habitual limitation or inhibition. This poem began a journey. Eventually, I no longer demanded that my poems explain themselves before they got written; I learned to trust the impetus, to ride the wave. The wave was feeling, expressed largely in long vowels. I worked by accepting an image compelled by rhythm and sound—without requiring that it explain its purpose."

I read Hall's book on my Kindle, that's why it has a location, rather than a page number. Love that Kindle!

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