I have sat down to this one several times now. It isn’t working for me. The central image that I find myself clinging to is the ‘death-canal’ which I’m assuming is a play on ‘birth-canal’ – we have a child within, swimming in amniotic fluid fish-like and yet surprisingly human. I get that we are all born into death – from the moment we are born we are ‘dying’ as a result of Adamic sin – and so I suppose we are all proto-ghosts, ghosts-in-waiting. Or is the child already dead? Is the mirror man the doctor? I often think of surgeons with mirrors on their foreheads. Again you’ve wrapped up the ‘story’ in an imaginary landscape and I feel a little, as with the last poem, that this imagery, although nicely described, overpowers any meaning I might extract from this piece.
thanks jim, you know I appreciate your perspective! I feel like apologising to you every time I post a poem, I have this image in my mind of you with your head in your hands trying to puzzle out my poems :)
I think it’s important that I give you honest feedback, Marion, even if I’m approaching the poem from a direction you would have preferred I didn’t. I am the person completing this poem, trying to make it my own and so I’ll add from my own experiences and emphasise the parts that mean something to me. I see most of the imagery in this poem as decoration, setting and, on one level at least, ignore it. I looked for the players and found three: the narrator, the child and the mirror men which I’ve interpreted as a single role, the doctor, even though the rest of the staff would account for the use of a plural. I don’t feel though that I’m extracting meaning from the poem so much as imposing meaning onto it. Perhaps part of the problem here is that I’m a male but although I’ve come up with an ‘answer’ to the poem it still lacks personal meaning for me.
that's why your comments are valuable to me, because they're honest and constructive.
Hints of Celan here, Marion. Only quibbles I have are 'plumose' which I make an adjective, not a noun, and the repetition of orange. I like the energy, the assertiveness and the mystery. Colin
ah, of course, thanks for that colin!
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