Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back

Back in Bethesda now--my last post seemed a lot like Mary Oliver--hmmm. Not sure I meant to be like that. I brought back a lot of my grandparents' books. Now I have to figure out how to rearrange our things to fit them in. We need a room that can be dedicated as a library. We may need a new house. We must have almost a thousand books already in various rooms of the house, maybe more if you count the kids' books.

Not too many thoughts about poetry right now. I have quite a few books stacked up to read, including a few to review. I finished Hall's Now You're the Enemy a little while ago. I liked it--it's certainly good to see the trope of 'mother' in play. I thought the most effective poems in the book were the 'portraits of the mother' as various people or things. The figures he develops are metaphysical in their intensity and scope. Are metaphors at their most compelling when the things being compared are so different from one another? It's a simple, perhaps stupid question. I've always like poetry that tended toward the metaphysical--there's more discovery that way, I supposed.

Oddly enough, I didn't care as much for Hall's poems that seemed more closely linked to personal experience and anecdote. They were certainly vivid, but the situational ethos wasn't really as interesting to me. Mostly, they lingered in anecdote and situation, and perhaps I read them too quickly, but they seemed often to illustrate a particular emotion or ethic, and without as much surprise as the portrait poems. Although both types of poems created a microcosm and macrocosm that illuminated each other. Definitely a book worth reading, and perhaps worth revisiting to explore some more.

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