Friday, May 7, 2010
Lost in Translation
I'm starting to read poetry again, due in part to Troll's Haiku contests and also to my niece telling me recently she may want to grow up to be a poet, which is kind of cool if we forget for a moment that every bone in my body itches to scream at her, no, honey no! grow up to be a lawyer! Then I remember, wait a minute, I'm just supposed to be the aunt, and the Cool One at that, so pffffft. I'll leave the reality-of-life stuff up to her father.
I also have all these poetry books on my shelves. Like, a gazillion of them. Like, if someone from the television show Hoarders were to come to my house, they might have to call Someone In the Know to see if I do, in fact, qualify for at least a side bar on one of the shows about a lady who devotes an entire wall of her house to three huge bookshelves for God Only Knows What Reason because, sweet Jesus, has she never heard of a library? Then again, my books are so very neatly arranged, and besides, S.B. still has room for his big ass television, so leave me alone.
Anyway, in addition to revisiting Yeats (rocks) and Anne Sexton (maybe not so much as I used to think), I'm also getting interested in some modern stuff. Like Tom Walmsley, whose poem below was sent to me by a reader a year or so ago. It's from his collection, What Happened, and naturally, it spoke to me immediately:
leaving aside the tree itself &
whether it was an act of progress
through rebellion or mutiny to
eat & know good & evil &
leaving aside possibilities of
patriarchal plots the
woman eve succumbing & corrupting
& leaving aside the nutty idea any of it
actually happened i say
isn't the point the
big point that he ratted her out that
he the man adam pointed the finger at
her & if she eve the disobedient sidekick is
the true problem the sinner the cause of
the fall is that why it's been decided it
has been preached that ratting out isn't
nearly as bad as disobedience &
in some sermon somewhere the
point should be shouted that adam was
a genuine pussy & i think the lesson is
when you rat out your neighbour's friends
relatives strangers because it's a law-
abiding patriotic thing to do
then the rat &
the ratted are both banished to the
land of nod but only
one of you can hold up her head.
* * *
So, tell Moi: do you read poetry?
1. No! Poetry's for hippies. I prefer pin up calendars and comic books.
2. But of course! With a nice Chianti and some fava beans.
3. Sometimes. Like, when I'm looking for a birthday card.
Feel free to share your favorite stanza or line, too.