Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Matters

For poets, an elaboration on something Picasso said:

It's one thing to discover a colorful tossed salad is actually a tropical bird, quite another to find out it's only iceberg lettuce & hothouse tomato.

It seems like every day I read a poem on Facebook that's "poetic" but it's only  a simple observation that should have stayed a simple observation. Transform or stop. Otherwise it's just fancy bulldoodle.

I recently read a small collection of poems by Adele Kenny, What Matters {pdf file], filled with trans-formative moments.  I've known Adele  for decades, but I kept her at a distance. I think I recognized a darkness in her similar to mine but which we handled in very different ways.    Adele was serious, orderly, responsible, had very cute, well-groomed, well-behaved Yorkshire Terriers, the  distinctive way she handled her environment.  She's also an expert in rare Staffordshire ceramics.  I was flippant, emotionally messy & guarded at the same time, improvisory, distracted, undisciplined, & if an expert in anything, it was rescuing scratchy, abused flea market records that I treated hardly any better than their original owners.  Adele's poem account of her childhood in a white, working class neighborhood of Rahway NJ, literally squeezed between chemical plants,  Route One, a railroad & a polluted river  was probably the most enjoyable poem I read last year, in a book I very much enjoyed reading all the way through.

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Just found this, Bob. Thank you so much! I always enjoyed your work, and yes, like you, I sensed a similar "darkness." Your kind words are much appreciated. Oh, the dogs are Yorkshire Terriers. (The Queen (ER II) has Corgis!) Thanks again!
Dogs corrected
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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