Tuesday, May 07, 2013

There's something wonderfully messy about a streambank willow!

I wander around down here almost every day. The willow is slower to leaf than the cottonwoods. I love all the colors in the water; they change with the sky. We have enough male redwing blackbirds in the willow to exceed possible nest sites; it's like the men's dormitory! Although this morning there was a lone female on the patio eating spilled birdseed. This year the males just about OWN the birdfeeder. This morning, one little goldfinch had the nerve to begin to dine. I could see the blackbird watching incredulously. And then he flew right at the feeder--goodbye, little yellow-brushed beauty.
My beloved Frank Bidart has a new book of poems out--and naturally, I already have it. Here's one taste:


Ropes of my dead
grandmother's unreproducible

sausage, curing for weeks

on the front porch. My mother

Americanized, found them

vaguely shameful.
Now though I

taste and taste

I can't find that
taste I so loved as a kid.

Each thing generates the idea

of itself, the perfect thing that it
is of course, not---

once, a pear so breathtakingly

succulent I couldn't
breathe. I take back that

"of course"

It's got to be out there again,---
. . . I have tasted it.

from Metaphysical Dog; Poems, by Frank Bidart

Short as it is, there are many wonderful things about this besides the story! I particularly like the neat and attractive one-line/two-line structure which slows things down so one can "taste" the phrases one at a time. Bidart also makes full use of periods, commas, dashes (he uses a beautiful straight em dash that I haven't been able to reproduce on Blogger.) And be sure to notice something I once heard him call the "comma dash" which is just a little different in length than either of its components. And then of course Italics! It doesn't get much better than this! Good night, and good punctuation!

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