Thursday, April 24, 2014

Perhaps there is a free lunch?

Aunt Kim was out delivering the mail; she called us about the free hot dogs, which turned out to be very tasty indeed. This was during the wonderful summer visit last year. Tonight I found this photo of Logan with his mustard dog while I was messing with photographs. There were free drinks and free strings of beads that day, too. I can't wait for picnic time to come 'round again. For some other adventures of Logan, search this blog with his name, which will also give you a post on the poet William Logan.

The rest of Mary Ruefle came today, and I love what I got. There is a delicate, tiny book called A Little White Shadow, that reproduces a small book of very short erasure poems made from an old book that has most of the words whited-out, leaving the only words chosen for the poem visible in a white ground on tannish paper. It is most (and very) appealing in this facsimile form, but just for fun, here is one of the poems all by itself:



     spoke fluently in many languages,

                 a human humming bird

(an erasure poem by Mary Ruefle from A Little White Shadow, Wave Books, 2006)

I have seen other erasure poems, but usually the covered words are scribbled out in ballpoint pen, or something else dark. Part of the genius in this volume is in the use of white-out.

The other book is Madness, Rack and Honey, Wave Books, 2012. It is a collection of lectures about poetry by Ms. Ruefle who teaches at Vermont College. Through dipping-in, I know I am going to like this book very much. It should contain many serious and interesting things to think about. Here is a passage from the Introduction.

"I always looked askance at writing on writing, but I'm intelligent enough to see that writing is writing. Still, my allegiance to poetry, to art, is greater than my allegiance to knowledge and intelligence, and that stance is harder and harder to maintain in today's world, because knowledge and intelligence form the corporate umbrella (the academy) that shelters and protects poetry in a culture that cares about other things. On the other hand, the evening news tells us a corporation is not interested in protecting anything, other than itself. This is best contemplated by the younger generation, on whom it will have the greatest impact." Page VII

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