Sep 15, 2010

James Wright, Ohio Pastoral

I've been wondering about a follow-up to Snodgrass' "The Campus on the Hill," and I keep coming up blank. So this seems as good a time as any to start posting this picture from time to time.

Also, I'm just back from four days of wandering on two-lane roads back in Ohio. I saw some friends from high school, too, so I think I'm overstimulated (I heard you laughing!), and I've got to sort out what I want to say, which could take a few days and a dozen posts. In the meantime, when in doubt about what to say about Ohio, go straight to James Wright, from Martins Ferry, across the Ohio River from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Beginning by James Wright : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.

Wright and I seem to agree that, under the moon, women and other mysteries can arise from or fade into Ohio fields.



Jean Spitzer said...

"[P]astoral surrealism", according to the description of Wright's work at the poetry site.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Banjo, the poem makes me think of the movie "Winter's Bone".
They both have an eeriness, although I am pretty sure that is not what James Wright intended.

Tell us about the high school friends!!

Anonymous said...

Ok, spill. Once you fell deeply in love in Ohio.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

"Pastoral Surrealism" why must academics quantify everything?
Nice photo of the moon and field. A very strange shade of blue. I can't share in you and Mr Wright's memories but I related to the last line

The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

btw: Winter Bones comes out on CD in October
btw x 2: I've also produced a poem on my site. Have you not seen it or do you fear acknowledging my fledging efforts?

yes, spill the beans on the chick

Banjo52 said...

Jean, I’ve gotta read that. Also, we could split hairs about surrealism vs. magical realism, but let’s not.

By the way, I think that's a bean field in the photo. I'm trying to learn crops other than corn and wheat. Can anyone help?

Brenda, your comparison to Winter’s Bone makes good sense to me. The friends . . . . That might have to be so fictionalized that it feels watered down. I plan to see these people again. The whole subject fascinates me, but I don’t know if I can communicate the nature of that.

Does anyone know Ian and Sylvia's song, "These Friends of Mine"?

AH: “Ok, spill. Once you fell deeply in love in Ohio.” Probably much more than once—or not even once. So how could I proceed?

AH and PA, the chick you’re trying to make as famous as KFC doesn’t exist. Well, not exactly anyway—a combo of individuals and amalgams (a combo of amalgams????—is that about the nature of reality?). And if you think I’m gonna spill all those beans on the internet, you’re even crazier than I thought. (Hope your senses of humor are turned on).

PA and others, sorry I’ve been tardy in visiting you—had to put Ohio first. At least that’s kept me brief.

PJ said...

I'm behind here, I will be back!

Banjo52 said...

Paula, Thanks for the note, and of course don't worry about it. This is supposed to be fun, isn't it? Besides, I'm behind too.

PA, I've just deposited a Ph.D. dissertation at your place. Thanks about the photos. Of course, I confess to doctoring the moon just a bit.

"Academics quantifying," or categorizing--yes, they/we can certainly over-do it. But I'd argue that classification can be helpful too, as long as we're flexible, willing to change definitions and categories as new info and thinking become available, and as long as we're alert to the dangers of stereotyping.

Here's what I heard somewhere along the way: surrealism paints pictures (including verbal ones) that are more or less completely out of the unconscious, the dream world; magical realism tells a story based in conscious, maybe linear "reality" but with magical elements dropped into he narrative from time to time, or even frequently, to suggest the importance of magic (the irrational, the supernatural) in everyday life.

If I heard that where I think I did, I don't much care for the source, but I think it's a fascinating distinction, whether or not it's valid. (I've run it by a few people, and no one has disputed it).

I'm just sayin' . . .

PJ said...

I once wrote a children's story about a girl I think was me, a racoon, and the Moon. A lot happens when the She's out and about.

Banjo52 said...

Paula, a female Mickey in the night kitchen?

PJ said...

Definitely a story about the mysteries of night time.

Lovers' Lane