Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Words Wouldn't Come (Poem)

Words Wouldn't Come

      On reading a review of a Norton lecture

Think of arms, wrists, hands, fingers
erasing the dark to let in more light.

Then you can do something unforgiving
to dead words traveling the thick black lines

on paper: smudge everything with the hush
of the artist's gestures. The first sentence

without fire, without oxygen in its voice,
rendered in double negation, at odds with

the ornamented images you draw in calligraphy
to get at what is hidden, does not answer

the puzzle of what makes blossoms prized
objects, even when they balk, refusing to come

out. Inside every riddle is understanding:
we cannot pull the chest ache close enough

to experience escapes from gravity. Unfolding
the creation of a poem is an art form, revealing

disparate strands of days when the ink presents
itself, waiting for instruction, our own translation.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas
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This is another example of a "found poem"; each word used is taken from this review of artist William Kentridge, Norton Lecturer this year at Harvard. Other "found poems" of mine can be read here and here.

For an explanation of "found poem", go here. Also see The Found Poetry Review, a quarterly that celebrate found poetry, centos, erasure poems, and other forms incorporating elements of existing texts.

10 comments:

Brian Miller said...

Unfolding
the creation of a poem is an art form...true that..and honestly i always measure the worth of crit by who gives it...and usually it will tell you if they really read it...

hedgewitch said...

Delicately wrought as lacemaker's knots. You found much here.

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

Maureen, another super poem! I love that you are writing from "found" words in text. Simply amazing --

"unfolding the creation of a poem"

"disparate strands of days"

I relate so much to the image of "our own translation" - I find poetry to offer many layers and multiple meanings all at once --

simply the story can be told and retold by many. . .

Thank you!

robkistner said...

"the ornamented images you draw in calligraphy
to get at what is hidden, does not answer

the puzzle of what makes blossoms prized objects, even when they balk, refusing to come"

I really was taken by this passage from your poem. It challenged me to reflect on the depth and scope of that which comes for the human hand, compared to that from natures... a fascinating juxtaposition. Good write her Maureen...

…rob
Image & Verse
here is a re-write from today of my poem: Laughing

poetcolette said...

I found this poem to be an expert translation of that ache in the chest. Brilliant!

Mystic_Mom said...

A found poem, how very clever, and you have woven those found words into a really interesting fabric of poetry!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Well found! And what rich source material.

nance said...

erasing the dark to let in more light

Alex Dissing said...

Poetry really is "our own translation" of our own mind, soul, heart. Indeed, the words need to be found. Fascinating.

Mama Zen said...

Outstanding!