A Gaggle of Favorite Poems

This week I am continuing my celebration of National Poetry Month by posting a gaggle of favorites.

A gaggle is a term of venery for a flock of geese that is not in flight; in flight, the group can be called a skein. A gaggle is equal to at least five geese.

A gaggle is also equal to eight fifty pound bags of salt. Usually one layer on a skid.

In military slang, a gaggle is an unorganized group doing nothing. In aviation, it is a large, loosely organized tactical formation of aircraft.

Based on this Wikipedia definition, I conjectured that a gaggle of poetry consists of exactly four poems in a loose tactical formation. 🙂

I have included links to what I hope is helpful analysis if you are interested. Enjoy!

 

1. “The Brain–is wider than the sky” by Emily Dickinson

This is a lovely poem about the vastness of our minds and inner worlds. I like the analysis of blogger ritzala.

The Brain — is wider than the Sky —
For — put them side by side —
The one the other will contain
With ease — and You — beside —

The Brain is deeper than the sea —
For — hold them — Blue to Blue —
The one the other will absorb —
As Sponges — Buckets — do —

The Brain is just the weight of God —
For — Heft them — Pound for Pound —
And they will differ — if they do —
As Syllable from Sound —

 

Bird Millman Popular_Mechanics_1917

Tightrope Walker Bird Millman, Popular Mechanics 1917

2. “Constantly Risking Absurdity” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

This is an interesting poem about writing poetry. I like the analysis provided by jhamann on hubpages.

Constantly risking absurdity
                                             and death
            whenever he performs
                                        above the heads
                                                            of his audience
   the poet like an acrobat
                                 climbs on rime
                                          to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
                                     above a sea of faces
             paces his way
                               to the other side of day
    performing entrechats
                               and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
                               and all without mistaking
                     any thing
                               for what it may not be
       For he’s the super realist
                                     who must perforce perceive
                   taut truth
                                 before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
                                  toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
                                     with gravity
                                                to start her death-defying leap
      And he
             a little charleychaplin man
                                           who may or may not catch
               her fair eternal form
                                     spreadeagled in the empty air
                  of existence

 

toy-pictures-12

3. “Women” by May Swenson

This is one of my favorite poems about women actively choosing who they will be and how they will and will not relate to men.

Whether or not you agree with the sardonic view and feminism of the poem, it raises a lot of important considerations about identity and purpose. The notion of exploitation is a universal one to which just about anyone can relate.

I like the analysis provided by SuperItchy.com.

Women                                 Or they
   should be                              should be
      pedestals                              little horses
         moving                                 those wooden
            pedestals                              sweet
               moving                                 oldfashioned
                  to the                                    painted
                     motions                                 rocking
                        of men                                  horses
                        the gladdest things in the toyroom
                           The                                       feelingly
                        pegs                                     and then
                     of their                                 unfeelingly
                  ears                                     To be
               so familiar                            joyfully
            and dear                               ridden
         to the trusting                      rockingly
      fists                                    ridden until
   To be chafed                        the restored
egos dismount and the legs stride away
Immobile                            willing
   sweetlipped                         to be set
      sturdy                                 into motion
         and smiling                         Women
            women                                 should be
               should always                        pedestals
                  be waiting                              to men

4. “i thank You God for most this amazing” by e. e. cummings

Completing my gaggle is this gem, in celebration of all the effervescent springtime writer walkabouts I’ve been enjoying. This one’s pretty straight-forward so instead of a link to analysis, here is a cool choral rendition of the poem for your ears.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Spring walkabout

Again, if you write poetry please post a link as I’d love to read it. Have a wonderful week!

A Couple of Poems for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month so this week I’m posting a couple I wrote.

I like poetry as a terse yet nebulous space in which to fling messy emotions. Basically, this means I write untidy poetry of the non-cuddly and free-form variety.

I enjoy reading all kinds of poetry but when I write it, I tend to want it to be like the reverse side of a cross stitch rather than the clear-cut, heart-warming front side. I want it to be a mess of threads reaching  toward a message but somehow still tangled and wild and weird, a bit like that line from Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t”.

If you write poetry, I’d love to read it! Feel free to leave a link as a comment.

Soul Lift

(this one’s about the intersection of scientific and spiritual progress)

 

Trivial as this bus is, I feel like it could become everything if it morphed into an invisible levitating ski lift system,

A Soul Lift complete with the creaking, swaying, sunny-sick sensation of a mammoth insect overhead–

Fate turned Mantis–swatting at the invisible cords that take us everywhere we need to be,

Like our legs never could.

 

Common as our legs are now, on the Soul Lift they would dangle out into the universe like dandelion gossamer

About to be whisked away for good, and as I bounce mine from the high seats at the double bus’ pivot points–

These benches packed with children squealing with delight and dismay,

As if legs should be wings,

 

Disappointed at how unamusementpark it has all turned out to be.

 

I realize that, exhausted as our legs are on a bus at 5:30 p.m. in the land of lithosphere gone to asphalt and concrete,

From our perch on the Soul Lift, legs would still be exhausted but like steam trains rusting down into the salt flats,

The saline yesteryear of it all would convince us to flaunt them like fashion accouterments

Like our legs always were.

 

But like rebellious vintage skateboards, the nostalgia of legs would be unreliable, skeetching out from under our torsos

When we demonstrated them as parlor tricks that would make us laugh, flounder, wince, and muse–

When it suited us.  Because they would still somehow represent freedom more than

Our tangible increase of freedom.

  

Carrion

(this one’s about the battle to be a writer)

 

When I am again a full-fledged Predator,

my courage applied to things real and speculative and not the past’s nit-picked hunts,

I will no longer trip over carrion carcasses like potential or security.

For too long an interim I have chosen against effecting proof,

reserved possible disaster for a fiercer soul…

And once I’d have done the faster faiths and so differently.

I’d have had the onslaught.

I’d have caught day.

I’d have had the deep flesh.

I’d have used the gums I’ve lost

from meatless gnawing at the dreamt.

Happy writing this week!