January 12, 2007

All Apologies

When it was only Tuesday night and I'd already been in the office for 26 hours, I accepted that this week would be beyond my control.

In workshop not too long ago, someone pointed out that I use parallelism much more than most poets. It's true! I'm mildly paralyzed by the realization. This is an ambivalent poetry period for me. Trying to read for inspiration, but I keep picking up poems that seem so self-satisfied with their own wordplay. So happy to just....float. Prettily. No narrative thrust. I miss the sense of something focused, urgent, the act of piercing. Am I just reading the wrong poems? Am I just grumpy and overworked?

Well, yes and yes, probably.

One I like:

Occupation

The soldiers
are hard at work
building a house.
They hammer
bodies into the earth
like nails,
they paint the walls
with blood.
Inside the doors
stay shut, locked
as eyes of stone.
Inside the stairs
feel slippery,
all flights go down.
There is no floor:
only a roof,
where ash is falling--
dark snow,
human snow,
thickly, mutely
falling.
Come, they say.
This house will
last forever.
You must occupy it.
And you, and you--
And you, and you--
Come, they say.
There is room
for everyone.

--Suji Kwock Kim

6 comments:

Don said...

This is a good poem. Was it in the Legitimate Dangers volume, also?

With Hammer And Tong...The LetterShaper said...

I very much enjoyed my time here; as a poet and an avid reader, I found it both enlightening and entertaining. Thank you...

Brian Wilkins said...

Perhaps we can take this comment as an occasion for introduction.

My name is Brian Wilkins, and I'm currently working on my MFA at UNH with Charles Simic and Mekeel McBride.

I was checking out Blackbird one day, saw the poems you have there, and, frankly, was floored.

I liked them all, a lot, so I wandered around the internet and read more. I finally ended up here at your blog.

So, anyway, I've been reading it off and on now, and I just thought I'd introduce myself and say that I think your work is inspiring.

As for your particular quandry, I went through a dry patch not too long ago, and the poetry of Georg Trakl pulled me out. I don't know if it would help or not for your situation, but there's an ache in his lines that can propell you to action.

Best of luck.

Sandra said...

Hi Don--Good eye! Yes, that's where I originaly found her work. Kate Gale was fun the other night, eh?

I'm always happy to see new visitors to the blog. I didn't really intend a big editorial silence after this posting--I've just been sick and out of the office, which is where my blogspot software works best.

Brian, please backchannel--if you go to my website www.sandrabeasley.com , use the email address there. Thanks for the kind words--it would be lovely to talk with further so I can find you more about YOUR work.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

This was a strong,well done poem that you cited. I enjoy your blog, your writng, and what you gather. I particularly like the line about most poems ignoring most people, reminded me of Billy Collins' comment (in his intro to poetry 180) that if poetry must be cryptic then poetry is simply synonymous with poor communication.

Sandra said...

I'm honored by your visit, Rabbi Fleischmann. = ) When New York's funniest rabbi pays a call, I know I have officially expanded my reading audience!