Mar 26, 2010

Thomas Lux, "I Love You Sweatheart"




I Love You Sweatheart by Thomas Lux | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

I don't mean to be pushy about Thomas Lux, but I've seen more than one audience love this poem, and it shows a lighter, softer side of Lux that might not have been evident in previous poems I've offered. Also, this is Friday, time for a lite.


One more thing: Lux does worlds for his students, for rising individual poets, and for the contemporary scene in general. We owe him. (So much for The New Criticism. I told you I was not a fanatic.).

Be sure to look at spelling in the poem. And take advantage of this chance to hear Lux's unique reading style. You'll see where to click at The Writer's Almanac site.

I wonder if the poem was written for this female Downy Woodpecker. I wish I could've convinced her to hold still, but I'll take it as my first photo capture of a Downy.

I Love You Sweatheart by Thomas Lux | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

15 comments:

altadenahiker said...

I see more sweat than heart, and a giant headache the next morning.

Yes, we all know the loves that rev the engine and won't let up; usually things explode. And what's odd is that they're so all-consuming at that moment, and then once you leave the moment, not particularly memorable or profound.

Your photos touch me; Lux doesn't much.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I laughed my butt off at this one! Just the imagery - sweat heart? POOR GUY! All that work, all that pride! And the vision of his girlfriend not laughing at all, probably calling him a dolt.

I didn't know Lux had a sense of humour! Good for him. And good for Casanova for trying, even though I hate graffiti underpasses/overpasses/walls.

BANJO52 said...

AH, thanks about the photos.

My main example of your point on engine revving was an older woman (college sophomore) who sophomorically dumped me to marry her Psychology prof at another school. I was relieved. (I could go on, but won't).

I couldn't figure out where the epic grief was. Must have left it at the hot dog stand. On the other hand, she and the experience were memorable and profound--formative--though somehow not worth mourning. A pretty good deal taken all around, maybe?

Brenda, I think they're pretty stupid too, but then I feel like an old man when I say it, partly b/c of this poem. Maybe I should go do some graffiti???

Lux's poems are often humor-rich. Can't help wondering if I haven't represented him well here.

I do think the spelling error makes for great comic material and maybe good romantic material as well.

Bought the George Saunders, almost finished with the Huck essay and I like it, though I continue to think Saunders tries too hard to be likable and breezy. For me, his commentary is informative, thoughtful, accessible. So why say stuff like "darned" and give it a cutesy People Magazine feel? Whatever. I'm glad for the tip. I'll keep reading him, including his fiction.

altadenahiker said...

Uh-oh. I say darned all the time. I don't think serious literary criticism has to be deadly earnest and boring. Breezy for me is a virtue. So give us one of your favorites; I'll read him/her and we'll do a comparison.

(Did I tell you my dad's idea of a bedtime story for the pre-five year old set was Huck? I can still hear Jim's dialect as filtered through a strong Norwegian accent.)

BANJO52 said...

I read a few more pages of Saunders this morning, and he's winning me over, in spite of Darn. (Darn to replace more hardcore stuff can be charming, I think). I really like his insights, tho' I can't say how new or stale they might be.

I'm sure my hesitation with Saunders is a case of old dogs (me) and new tricks (chatty scholarship replacing some of the stuffier old stuff).

I also wonder why Saunders doesn't quote Twain (more? at all?).

Some of the older stuff I actually enjoyed back in the day and/or recently: Robert Langbaum, Harold Bloom, Helen Vendler. There was something to agree or disagree with or set into wonderment by on practically every page. It was all new to me. I thought I was going to law school . . .

You and Brenda getting some of the classics when you did--was Gatsby one of the others you've mentioned?--you must have been in the precocious crowd I didn't meet till college.

Brenda's Arizona said...

This is so odd - I am trying to understand the Huck Finn story, and just totally not getting it. I never read any Twain in school, and I am not able to self-teach me on this one! Even trying to back up and read synopsis of HF, I find myself totally blank/confused/ANNOYED. Mostly at myself, I am sure. A classic, a masterpiece - and I don't get it. Jim dies???

altadenahiker said...

Brenda, I'm sorry, I don't understand. You don't like HF the book, or the essay? Or you don't like the essay because you never read the book? 'Splain, please.

Ok Banjo, I'll get one of you peeps and read him or her this week.

Interesting thing about Gatsby: It speaks to me through every era of my life, but speaks differently each time. How did Fitz ever accomplish that?

Jeff M said...

This poem? Everything is fine until that pushy, bloated ending involving a colon and the word "blessed." Sorry Banjo! Keep 'em coming though.

Brenda's Arizona said...

AH, just the HF story leaves me wondering. The other Saunders stories are great - I love the British one! I think the lack of Twain in my education is triggering me to 'hurry up and get it' - a panic that is a mental block.

BANJO52 said...

AH, remember I'm not claiming my peeps will be as enjoyable as Saunders, so please feel no obligation. Also, I'll be surprised if they're online; I've never tried them there.

Brenda, I too need more from you about Huck. I wonder if the dialect is a problem, esp. since Huck AND Jim speak in accents, and different ones at that.

Jeff, I will. Might be another day or two, though.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I see. Twain just doesn't speak to you. The way, I suppose, Faulkner doesn't speak to me. And the way Hamlet doesn't grab Banjo.

Anyone else love Moll Flanders besides me?

That's ok Banjo. I've appreciated the non-breezy from time to time. I had a Shakespeare prof I'll have to tell you about sometime. Deadly serious, but the first guy to get me published. A piece on Othello, of all things.

BANJO52 said...

AH, I assume you mean Brenda when you say Twain doesn't speak to "you"? He definitely speaks to me. "And the birds just a goin' it." Do I have it right?

Does it count if I went through a period of adoring Faulkner and my favorite novel was The Hamlet? :)

Hope we hear about you and Shake. and Othello soon. And the prof.

Can't remember if I even tried Moll Flanders. I probably was supposed to . . .

BANJO52 said...

And by the way, what was the Othello about?

BANJO52 said...

Othello PAPER, I mean.

Brenda's Arizona said...

More on Othello, AH sisterwomyn! It is funny what 'speaks' to people. What about your Shakespeare prof? I had a 'romantic poetry' prof who made the 5 romantic poets just come alive for me. And in 11th grade, it was Hesther in the Scarlett Letter that reached me. I was so into it that the ending didn't haunt me or shock me.

What else 'speaks' to you? And you, Banjomyn?

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