Nov 16, 2011

"In November" by Lisel Mueller

Willow, Mid-November

 Here is a quiet and positive poem, which suits the season.

In November by Lisel Mueller : The Poetry Foundation


Stickup Artist said...

Hi Banjo, isn't autumn awesome? One does have to search for fall colors in SoCal, but I am near the Cajon Pass where the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains meet. (The Mojave is on the other side). There is a little section called Lytle Creek where "regular" trees grow alongside the creek so there is some color. But you have to know where to look! Your photos are splendid, full of rich tones. My favorites are the ones where the trees are reflected in the water. Looks like a peaceful place where on could spend hours in admiration of nature's bounty.

Barbaro said...

A lot of flat, prosaic lines in there; the second line, in particular, ought to be ashamed of itself.

I'll defend contemporary poetry overall to the death, but examples like this give me confidence in continuing to champion the likes of Whitman, Dickinson, Keats, however dusty they may sometimes seem.

Sorry to be so negative. I liked the pictures at least.

Banjo52 said...

Stickup, thanks for the compliment and the SoCal info. I bet I hit the maps if I don't forget. I'm getting back in touch with autumn after some years of annoyance at shortening, colder, wetter, greyer days. But the color! Had I just forgotten to look?

Barbaro, I tend to agree, and I wouldn't limit the complaint to Line 2. But I kind of like her idea about finding ways to be positive. I don't think those 3 are going anywhere, and of course there are many more we could add. I do think some contemporary stuff is very good, but it's hard for me to find "entire poets" to admire, compared to this or that poem here or there. The first name on the tip of my tongue is Richard Wilbur.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

you've actually visited Stickup Artist' area via the adjacents

question- is a line of poetry a literal line (one segment of space) or a completed sentence (making the first line two segments) ??

I like how this poem host gives description for the uninitiated such as "free verse" the next post "imagist"

"But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine."

I thought the final stanza(?) gave the poem a certain redeeming mystery

Banjo52 said...

PA, you've got it--the line and the sentence are two different things, and sometimes we find a poet working the two against each other, or together. It's a tool, a weapon.

Me too on the poem's last few lines. That feeling of redemption--and lack of selfishness--is what I was trying to say to Barbaro.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I like this poem!
But how late did she sleep? Or where is she in November that she slept until the sun was up? Southern hemisphere??? It stays dark pretty late in the morning these days...

My troubles are light. And I feel empathy for those who have heavy troubles. Why am I 'lucky'? When my friend died, my father shouted "It should have been me, I am an old sick man. Why him?". I think this is what Lisel is saying... the heavy heart should have been mine.
Survivor's guilt, I guess.

And the photos - oh autumn, you surprise me.

Lovers' Lane