Sunday, June 26, 2011

What the Body Can Say

The fifth poem in the collection, this is the first one to interest me, but like the other four, it feels dashed off, undedited; and I keep asking myself why these poems should deserve my time if they weren't good enough for the author's. The crux of this poem is how well the body can communicate, particularly that of the narrator's mother:

that day not long before her death--her face tilted up

at me, her mouth falling open, wordless, just as
we open our mouths in church to take in the wafer,

meaning communion? What matters is context--

and the poem doesn't give us any context for the mother's body language.

By this point I'm only reading the book because I made a commitment for the month. Other than linebreaks, and perhaps the poet's politics or heritage, this is neither poetry nor good writing. And this book won a Pulitzer--what has our culture fallen to?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Scott,
    There's so much irony, and i do enjoy a good ironicalness, in your statement, "it feels dashed off, undedited". Ergo, your typo on unedited of all the words, hehe (I don't give a tiddly pick about typos in comments really, just funny s'all). its a matter of taste of course, but just the one short example you gave was really compelling and hugely loaded. She italicizes the word, communion, for extra emphasis of course. Because its not so much the Mom's body language as the communion, as a huge loaded word w/ all its possible contexts which is the Big context. I could just chew on all that for some time, I think its quite brilliant, how she says sooo very much w/ so few words.