Friday, December 02, 2011

It's poems like this . . .

So I've been reading John Updike's poetry. Didn't know he was a poet until just a couple of years ago when I came across "Seven Stanzas at Easter," which I quoted from here.

So, anyway, he is a phenomenal poet. The sheer variety of subjects he takes on, and styles, and images and ease of rhyme (when he cares to rhyme) is just mind-blowing to me. Here's one of my favorite images, which comes as the last line in a very long poem about bats and, in particular, chasing a bat out of his house one evening:

Stealthy as a parent, I wrapped it gently up;

it chirruped, exerting a questioning pressure

back through the towel like the throb of a watch.

Up, window. Up, screen. I gave the bat back

to the night like a cup of water to the sea.

Man, it's poems like this that make me despair of ever being a poet—and yet, it's poems like this that make me wonder if maybe I could be one. Because of the way I resonate when I encounter that one, perfect image ("like a cup of water to the sea"). There must be something poetic in me to be able to get such joy from a turn of phrase like that, right?

My dream: to hear someday that someone loved an image of mine as much as I love this one.


Corps of Discovery. said...

Ok, then, here goes.

Years ago I read your poem "Umbilical Cord." Your poem touched me in a way that nothing outside of scripture has. And yes, I LOVE the image of this poem; everything about this poem. I reread it often. Each time I read it, I feel closer to my husband and more respectful and appreciative of his Priesthood. Thank you so much for writing it.

A few years later, I found your blog through a link of a friend (Chris Bigelow). It wasn't until many months later that I realized you were the author of "Umbilical Cord." Since then I have followed your blog. I admire you so much for your devotion to your craft and talent.


Darlene Young said...

Wow, thank you, Devani. You made my day. Maybe even my year. I was just talking to a good friend last night about why I keep trying to write a novel even though I know that, deep down, poetry is my thing. I finally admitted that it's just such a lonely job being a poet. No one buys poetry, of course, and hardly anyone reads it. My little existential crisis . . . and you really cheered me up. Thank you so much.