Thursday, December 31, 2009

Galloping Gallimaufry

Zach Wells kindly reminds me that the poems in Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets had to be written in English, which leaves out Faludy's Hungarian-composed sonnets, as well as those of other deserving Francophone poets.


From Kevin Connolly, in a CBC interview: "There's always a part of the poem that stays stubbornly foreign to the poet. In a sense, it wouldn't be an interesting poem to write if it didn't. Somehow summing up what you meant to do in one particular line seems like a betrayal of the whole impulse which most poets don't care to admit. But it's largely intuitive. At least at the start, the urge is intuitive. If we [Connolly, A F Moritz, Jeramy Dodds] could give you a straight answer and say what our intentions were from day one, I don't think we would have written the poem."


I'm a big believer in setting the bar low so's to easily succeed in acing my New Year's resolutions. Who am I kidding? There's no bar at all since I don't make any. But this year, I've promised myself to be less tolerant, so I'll not read as many books of poetry that don't grab me even at one read part way through the volume. Those I don't finish I won't blog at all. I suspect there'll still be a lot of negativity, though, since (among those finished) there's often a lot of bad or indifferent verse mixed with the good.



Those three wise guys and the dim, dull star,
The cattle bowing in years'-honed boredom,
Innkeeper belching to the rhythm of wind
Bunting ornaments against the inn bar.

The present, the promise, the cradle: the scent
Of pine and cane sugar and after shave
Overwhelm that snow circle with mocking
Of Lent. Hands up. Who here cares about sin?

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