Thursday, October 26, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Right in Front of Me

When I read the prompt for this week I was sitting, of course at my computer screen. Liz Elayne invited us to find inspiration in a place where we spend most of our time. I spend quite a bit of time in fromt of the computer, of course. Could I find inspiration for a poem on my screen? Well, it brings me a lot of poetry from all around the world, but I didn't think that's where my own inspiration comes from, so I went out to pull weeds in my garden. I dug and pulled and heaped the weeds on top of an old rabbit hutch until the pile was about ready to topple over. It was a grey moist day, and I found myself thinking of the blue skies of a few days earlier, with their banks of flaked fish clouds. I uncovered dark scuttly things - centipedes, beetles, spiders - which hurried away to find cover again under the leaf litter. Later, weeding in another part of the garden, I looked up to find a cat, striped dark and tawny, gazing at me. I greeted her and she streaked away. But no poems. Maybe they streaked and scuttled away with the garden creatures. Maybe another day inspiration will come.

I have been further exploring the poems of Michele Leggott, a poet I mentioned last week. So I thought I would post the poem that first interested me in her work. It is set in her kitchen, another place where I spend a lot of time (my kitchen, not hers!). It took the explanation that she has two sons for me to start unravelling the meaning of this poem.

from Dia

Smile at that mountain where love was
eaten on a morning when the world held still
in the rain's embrace a promise of iris blue
In the heart every moment a splitting of the moon
in the belly picnics of sky and dancing zephyrs
Be loved be happy, feed and be fattened on this -
A weekend in winter lemon butter thickening
over slow heat, two candy boys ecstatic
on the juicer, Persian mystics on top of the fridge
glinting elevation and excess Stir and shout
give them (feet off the green couch right now) the works!
The parrots of my soul have begun to chew sugar
they turn up the deck and dance loopsville
one in my arms whirled in a golden mirror

I have been exploring Michele Leggott's poetry in the spirit of last week's prompt - poetry you avoid. I think I understand the one above, somewhat, but most of the rest of it I find rather difficult. I would probably have given up, normally, but I think there is treasure in here - wonderful rich images - and so I am trying to persist. Besides, I received an alumni magazine in the mail yesterday from Auckland University where I did my master's degree, and there is an article in it on Michele (which seems like more than a coincidence). See it online here

More of her work can be found online here and here.


Anonymous said...

Hm. This is nice stuff -- you're right, not very transparent, but some lovely images. Favorite bits:

"A weekend in winter lemon butter thickening
over slow heat, two candy boys ecstatic
on the juicer, Persian mystics on top of the fridge
glinting elevation and excess"

Thanks for the intro! Someone to look out for. Cheers, Nic

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love her work! The line breaks, the images are just delicious.
I'm so glad you didn't avoid her last week and pushed on this week. Now I'm off to order a book!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

"Love and be happy. Feed and be fattened on this." is a wonderful image -- in a poem filled with wonderful images. Good work!

I will look your poet up....

michelle said...

"The parrots of my soul"

Gosh, that's beautiful. Looks like you've influenced me to read some of her work as well.

By the way, your explanation about your search for inspiration was quite poetic in itself. Such enchanting prose, especially the gardening passage.

Thanks for your insight on my poem. I definitely agree that the setting was obscure, so I made a minor edit to address the issue.

Happy Poetry Thursday!

<3 Michelle at ChelleArt

Tammy Brierly said...

I found the treasures in it too. I always love exploring new poets, thanks for sharing :)

twilightspider said...

Lovely choice to share, and I too loved your opening to the poem. Your description of your search for inspiration was its own poetry.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your introduction, there was poetry throughout..beautiful thoughts, ..flaked fish clouds, finding cover under leaf litter, they scuttled and streaked away.. loved it, simple beauty...thanks m

che said...

you really have to posses a fast mind to
catch up w/ the images in this poem .
quirkilly wonderful !

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good post; a fine poem. Michelle does write well.

Michele sent me this way.

Claire said...

Not sure about the overall, but I do like the imagery. Thanks for sharing!


Deb R said...

I'm glad you shared that poem. The imagery is difficult, but evocative. It feels very dreamlike to me.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating post!
Here from Michele's.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all familiar with the poet. But I do love poetry, so I'll check her out. Thanks for sharing!

Tracie Nall said...

Very interesting. I have never heard of that poet before, but I am going to check out the articles that you linked to.

Here from Michele's!

paris parfait said...

Thanks for the introduction to this poet.