She is a model of devotion to the practice of poetry. When after a few years out of touch, Higginson asked if she was still writing, she responded, "I have no other Playmate.
The process of writing and all it involved grew her soul. I think this was part of the hook for me with grad school: She jolts us with it. Now it often seems likely, though not My favourite poem, that things will get worse, or stay equally bad.
But the thing that I did and, when it really comes down to it, still do find pretty affirming is historical contingency.
The knocked-off top of her head must have spent a good deal of time on the floor next to her desk. Definition poems, observation-of-nature poems, My favourite poem poems, declaration-after-experience poems, working-what-she-thinks-of-the-experience-in-the-poem poems, lyric cries, locked-up aphorisms, arguments and narratives, purposeful inconsistency, jazzing the placeholders, banging and angling language until it renders the otherwise inarticulate human feeling: Used with permission of the author.
What she made in her poems she used in her life.
And she jolted herself. Which at least leaves open the possibility, however slim, that whatever eventually replaces this world will be wildly better. She extracts from words "amazing sense. I once thought that progressing to socialism was the overall trajectory. These are the only way I know it.
The foundation and purpose of art was moral and religious, as it was for every poet of her time except Poe, but, unlike the Victorian sages, for her the relationship between art and morality was implicit not explicit, private not social, neither pious nor privileged but enmeshed with gritty, difficult, daily life, and every crack and crease in their connections was open to exploration.
Her style is in the service of truth: The occasional difficulty and irresolvable ambiguity of her poems is incidental to their knocking my head off, too. They are a spiritual autobiography more comprehensive than any possible narrative.
It was a spiritual discipline, the lifelong practice of a craft, and an entertainment. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. A former partner, one I used to do a lot of political work with and with whom I share many political sentiments, and who does not have a poetry background, read the poem and texted me, also very excited about it.
A lot of the time, lyric moments seem to gesture to some sort of eternal truth outside of history. So the so-called "enigma of Emily Dickinson" is not an enigma to me at all. Anything you read outside the canon the canon being so familiar as to not work for this from at least fifty or so years ago feels utterly foreign, so much so that you will deeply feel the fact that people and the world have varied a ton even within recent memory.
Writing poems for her was life-sustaining, even life-creating. The only way this works for me, given my left politics, is if the eternal truth outside history is actually historical contingency.
She is never more difficult than she has to be, but she is committed to being exactly that difficult and that easyand her figuration and condensation are sometimes necessarily dense and usually unusually intense. Everything we need to know about her is in those poems.
I would like to have a fraction of her focus: Dickinson is the only poet about whom I consistently feel, "I wish I could write like that.
I am very grateful she did this work. Not an inevitability, necessarily, but definitely the tendency of history, provided we fought for it.
Dickinson makes the reader participate in the poem, to follow its twists and fill in its sometimes unfillable blanks.
The inimitable stylistic manifestation of this attention is most apparent in her usage not her vocabulary—condensing predications and changing grammatical classes of words much more than using specialized and obscure meanings of them although there is a little of that, too.
I woke up the sky was dark I had a battered feeling in my chest I went to work… And it puts those lines in proximity to these: The lyric moment working, though, obviously depends on the poem being of your world view. To cite just one example:The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets.
For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry. Tomorrow is National Poetry Day, and believe it or not, poetry was one of the first forms of writing I ever picked up.
During my first few years of college I always had a book of poetry with me. I loved. Dec 27, · LENA DUNHAM: My favorite poem is “Man and Wife,” by Robert Lowell.
I tend to relate to the story of the wronged wife, the wounded daughter, the angry mistress. But Lowell captures what is. My first poetry professor, in undergrad, used to talk a lot about “the lyric moment” in a poem.
I’m not sure if this is a thing a lot of people.
57 rows · The Favorite Poem Project A partnership between Boston University, the Library of Congress, and other organizations, with original funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. May 01, · Ruth, that's one of my favorite poems by Roethke. The Robert Hayden was new to me.
Thanks Sheila, I've already scribbled it into my journal. And here's my favorite bit of Kipling: Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky.Download