"I live in you, you live in me / We are two gardens haunted by each other." 'Love Poem', Douglas Dunn
There are a whole set of names for the March Moon. The Celts call it the Moon of Winds. I’m probably the most horticulturally-challenged person you’re likely to be but flowers and frost don’t seem as if they should go together with the possible exception of the edelweiss. I did check and some magnolias can bloom in early spring. Okay I know I’m being a bit literal here but I wouldn’t be me if I did say what jumps out at me when I read one of your poems and the big questions was: Why March? I can see no special significance to a March baptism than one at any other time of year. It’s cold, hence the mist when they kiss, but who is kissing? Kissing – at least this kind of kissing – doesn’t fit with a baptism. This is, of course, assuming that the baptism is a submersion in water and not a submersion into another. I find the word canvassing an odd choice. It reminds me of politicians in the street and once that image stuck it was hard to shake.I can find no reference to ‘blood waves’ but blood is always significant. And yet waves of it seems overkill. Is this entire poem a dream? You jump from a baptismal scene (water as life-giver, washing sins away, new life therefore) to walls of black waves (death dealers). The ‘towering blacks’ is suggestive of a tidal wave. The one that struck Japan was in March though.As always I’m struggling to tie these (to me) disparate images together. But this one is losing me.
thanks for your perserverance, jim, you make good points as always :) yes, it's about the Japan tsunami, me imagining it coming here.
Me, I like poetry that dares to be disparate (as you know from me raving about Neruda!)Especially liked the canvassing lips - that part inhabits territory that can so easily turn mawkish and the original use of language is one way to avoid doing so.Puzzled by "tottering blacks".Talking of disparate, when I was reading Neruda, I was also into Ashbery - this kind of thing:http://fivebranchtree.blogspot.com/2008/12/le-livre-est-sur-la-table-john-ashbery.html
thanks for this, dominic! I've yet to really find my way into Ashbery but yes I've always preferred fractured to straightforward narrative.
me, i'm loving the title. and then the first four lines. the second four don't seem to add much to that. lips canvassing is rather lovely but you've already said it and, like dominic, i'm puzzled by tottering blacksi like the blood waves but for me a wave of blood will always be the shining rather than tsunami!
thanks for this, swiss :)
the title is mesmerizing, an entire poem by itself! i have to thank Jim for making the connection to Japan, i didn't get that myself. i also think that the beginning is very strong, the images surprise and resonate long in the mind...
thankyou roxana, I know I've barely made the Japan connection in it, I'll be thinking about that in revisions.
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