Mar 2, 2011

Kay Ryan, "Blandeur"



Starting with the title's play on "Grandeur," Kay Ryan's "Blandeur" is witty while these photos are sorta postcard-sappy. Also, I don't have a Swiss Alp to offer (like her Eiger). Still, I think she and I share a perspective. I believe someone said the
whole is more than the sum of its
parts . . . .

Blandeur by Kay Ryan : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and
Poets. Discover Poetry.



Milkweed, Michigan's Northern Lower Peninsula





A Rothko Bean Field, near Tuscarawas, Eastern Ohio


















Wheatfield before a Storm, Southern Ontario











Sunrise on the Atlantac, Northern Florida















Mountain Farm, Central Pennsylvania


Blandeur by Kay Ryan : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and
Poets. Discover Poetry.

10 comments:

Brenda's Arizona said...

Oh my, your photos are anything BUT blandeur. The field... awesome, Banjomyn!

What do you think of the poem? To you yearn for less? Or, as the 'free will' thinking humans we are, do want to pick and chose what we have less of? Would the Grand Canyon be as breath-taking if it were less of a canyon? Would your wheat field photo be as eyecatching if it had less wheat with less color? Wow Pamela Anderson still be 'interesting' if she had less bosom? Would 'Winter's Bone' have impressed you if it had less dreary and more happy?
Let's pick and chose. Less war, less bickering, less confrontation. More magic!

Banjo52 said...

Brenda, thanks. I'll take your free will option.

Of course, Ryan is playing Oppositeville, and in the simplicity of its ideas, I think it's a surprisingly effective way to praise things as they are--which is to say, grand. Her verbal skill (look at those unusual rhymes!) and her wit prevent sentimentality.

I have had the Ryan thought in a somewhat serious way about the Rockies and the Alps. They are just an excess of "Look at me. Look at how difficult I can make life for you." They are very self-centered mountains. Braggarts. :)

All the quips we hear about Pamela Anderson, and I wouldn't know her if she walked into the room right now. Do you think I should let her in?

Jeff M said...

Love Rothko. I see the comparison. Nice photos, Banjo.

altadenahiker said...

That farm photo takes my breath away.

Gosh, I love the first two lines of the poem. And I know what the whole thing means:

It's how you feel on a lovely day, when you don't owe money, no one close to you is sick or dying, you're not crazy insane about someone, and someone isn't crazy insane about you. You're just happy with the birds and sky and health. And you want things to stay like this forever.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, AH, you should be a poet. I can capture your 'image' perfectly. Simple.
Nice.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Northern Michigan; an area I'd love to visit. Looks swell on google map.

In a similar vein

If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
Albert Camus

"Implacable Grandeur" another fine name for a race horse.

btw: I bookmarked the Ryan poem. You've featured her work before; teaches at Lancaster JC? I like the way she rewrote certain words; blanden being a favorite.

Banjo52 said...

Jeff, thanks. I did wonder if I'd be the only one to see it.

AH, yep, I think hear you. The Alps and the Grand Canyon make demands, even though they give back some goodies. Nothin’ wrong with bean fields and good health.

PA, upper lower peninsula or upper peninsula? They both have their goodies too, but they're just not in my blood.

They're in the stretch and here comes Implacable Grandeur . . . !
Great idea.

It's nice that you mention the JC rather than poet laureate. I think she'd like that perspective.

altadenahiker said...

Once again, that is not what I meant. I think we need a student-teacher conference.

altadenahiker said...

Once again, that is not what I meant. I think we need a student-teacher conference.

Banjo52 said...

AH, let's do it here. (I did mean FIGURATIVE Alps and Canyon . . . Big forces and dramas that lean on us, demand recognition and attention, maybe deservedly, maybe not).

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