Saturday, March 8, 2014

What We Have Lost

Whenever I write a post about poetry, my blog readers-never numerous-disappear to the dark side of the moon. They do not want to hear about such a moribund art, and I would not want to hear it either if I did not love it so much. And since this is my blog, I will indulge myself.

Here are two examples of what we have lost.

The first are some lines by Shelley in "Adonais", his tribute to the dead John Keats:

"The One remains, the many change and pass:

Heaven's light forever shines,Earth's shadows fly:

Life, like a dome of many colored glass

Stains the white radiance of eternity".

And secondly, W.H. Auden, describing the peace of a summer evening:

"The lion griefs loped from the shade

And on our knees their muzzles laid,

And Death put down his book".

This, my friends, is Poetry-

And now to what we have found.

And I am not making this up.

I found this gem a few years back in a little magazine, and I was so taken by its

magnificent awfulness that I copied the whole thing.(I tried to read it to my mother

the other day, and she begged me to stop). I will not list the author, though I will

say she is still publishing, and has been praised by Ted Kooser and Billy Collins.

"In the scruffle tremble

world my heart is

cake batter. The world rattles

like a piggy bank".

A few stanzas later her heart is back again-

".....My heart

closes like an automatic garage door".

A bit later on she forgets her heart and the cake batter, and asks" Have you ever put

a butterfly in your mouth?"

All I can say about this is that she would not have to be eating butterflies if she

hadn't squashed the cake under the door. And I hope the butterfly was not a monarch-

This goes on for two and a half pages, and the mystery is why did she stop? Perhaps

with her eating habits her verbal diarrhea evolved to physical.

Example number two was a mini essay I read a few days back on the Poetry Magazine

website. Ruth Lilly, heir to the Prozac fortune,donated 200 million dollars to that

magazine, and I will let you decide if money can buy taste.

The young woman who wrote the essay decided to reveal the most wonderful first line

she could remember in a poem. The poem is about Hansel and Gretel, and here is its

dazzling first line-

" Shit! Are we lost?"

Comment would be superfluous. Goodnight, and good luck. And yes, we are lost.

* I do apologize for some of the line breaks. I did not see them till the end, and I am too tired to re-write.

1 comment:

Sam said...

The opening line of Hansel and Gretel is hilarious. It reminds me of the best (and shortest) movie review I ever read. It was for The Wizard of Oz and went: "A girl travels from Kansas to a strange land where she kills the first person she meets, she joins forces with three strangers and sets out to kill again."