All entries for Tuesday 01 March 2011

March 01, 2011

Why Poetry Matters: Poetry and the Domestic —–February/ March 2011.

I had a break last month from writing my usual note about poetry for the Nittany Valley Writers’ Association Newsletter. The reason was because chaos ensued after my apartment was flooded last month. I am now getting back on top of my writing workload, however, and things are getting back to normal.

-

Poetry is often thought of as an elite mode of writing which focuses on grand themes. Some of the most successful poets, however, place their poem in a familiar domestic space, which nevertheless enables them to work through universal and enduring themes. Take for example, a poem by local poet Robin Becker: ‘The Roast Chicken’.

Ostensibly, the poem tells a simple story; the narrator cooks a roast chicken, picking over its carcass on consecutive nights. By the end of the poem, however, it is clear that the narrator is actually picking over her own life choices. The tone is rueful, self-mocking even, as the narrator sits down to eat ‘alone’. The use of humor, however, makes the subject matter all the more affecting: the suicide of the narrator’s sister, loneliness, the lack of family life, and the narrator’s fear that she may be taking on the characteristics of her father. Though the poem is confined to a simple, domestic scene, it hinges on a sense of regret, and ends with the image of an old flame who admonishes the narrator for lost chances:

And you’re left
knowing that she was your best chance,
though she would say
your best chances are the ones you take.

-

Note: You can find ‘The Roast Chicken’ in Becker’s collection All American Girl.


Happy St David's Day!

Happy St David’s Day! St David’s in Pembrokeshire, West Wales is one of my favourite places in the world, and I’m thinking of it today when I am so far away across the Atlantic.

St David

...

Facebook Widget

The Midnight Heart

“Zona de plagas donde la dormida come / lentamente / su corazón de medianoche” – Alejandra Pizarnik


Night ramblings of insomnia, and day ramblings for the sleep deprived.

Search this blog

March 2011

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Feb |  Today  | Apr
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

Galleries

Goodreads

my read shelf:
Zoe's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Red Room

Visit me in the Red Room

The Secret

Book Cover

Blog archive

Loading…

Books



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)


Comment Policy

Feel free to leave a comment on this blog, but I want to let readers know that I only accept comments that are linked to a valid homepage, e-mail or blog. I don’t accept anonymous comments. If a conversation is going to work, I want to know who it is that I’m talking to. If you really have a good reason for remaining anonymous, drop me a line instead by e-mail.

Most recent comments

  • Yes, you're right it does make you think and I know what he means. I also like the fact that it's su… by Sue on this entry
  • True, I hope so too, but it makes you think! by on this entry
  • He takes a very pessimistic view of things. I think the human spirit will prevail. I don't see the p… by Sue on this entry
  • Hi Zoe, do you know the glass dresses made by the artist Diana Dias Leao? They're not meant to be wo… by redbotinki on this entry
  • We're having some technical issues with this blog post, so please bear with me! by on this entry

Favourite blogs

Spanish Daily Word

<-- END WORD-A-DAY TEXT -->
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXVIII