Tag: Poetry

The day I finished reading, The Sun and Her Flowers, I saw an interview with the 20-something poet and also learned about the international admiration for this book, which has been quickly translated into numerous languages. Apparently, Rupi Kaur’s fame began with a controversial Instagram image.

I like how the author has made the idea of poetry popular, which by itself is an immense achievement.  Born in India, the poet was raised in the west with a multicultural family awareness, which I know something about from my own experience. Overall, the poetry style seems quite innovative.

I was struck by how the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers dramatically expand the possibilities of the genre. Sometimes, the poems are simply short statements; other times, there are italicized summaries at the end (which serve as captions; there are no titles). Often the language seems designed to jolt and surprise. At other times, the poems are quite prosaic. 

In the interview, the poet responded to critics, who have called her too simplistic, by saying she was fine with that, but in the end she wanted the reader’s stomach to turn.  

Though this book is interesting, in the future I would like to see the kind of poetic mastery that could, perhaps, slow down the reader in order to deepen one’s experience, move one towards a rich, intuitive silence and keep the poems from falling flat emotionally.

 

Personal Updates The Process of Writing

After Fires from Three Directions

 

Past red-orange retardant,
wind diminished, intuition says:
return to Santa Barbara County
do not be overwhelmed
by unacknowledged fear.

I enter our home filled with a surfeit
of noise and hear…a man’s voice,
the drop of lumber, whirr of automatic tools,
the closing and opening of doors,
his music.

Heat continues, and no rain comes down
in that ancient October way. Who will refuse to see
earth’s change, or the need to investigate
how we lead our lives? May we listen well
and learn from nature’s plea.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
October 9, 2017

A Poem

A ceiling of morning fog contracts around us. Now that the intense heat wave has passed, a cooler brain may function once again. Happily, it’s hoodie wearing time.

Reading “The Search Engine,” a story in Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians, I am fascinated by two powerfully drawn and unique characters who demonstrate the anguish, the calling, the questioning and the imagination of poetry. The world of poetry has many pitfalls, and Alexie highlights the ups and downs in his startling, harsh, fearless and heart wrenching story telling. I am brought to serious reflection about my own journeys in the arena of poetry writing, and I can only hope I have the courage to continue the endeavor and answer the call when it arises.

Journal Entry

 

When I am liberated by silence…
My whole life becomes a prayer.

—Thomas Merton

 

I still see that light shining around
any object; and I still feel that current,
sometimes so strong I may not
have feet on the ground.

And that space inside grows larger,
like a scary no beginning, no end;
vibrating, vibrating until the silence
is no longer silent.

 

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
July 4, 2017

A Poem

Remembering

 


We remember, and the memories float
like clouds that shape themselves
then dissolve into something else.

We remember, and the past comes to life
as if there is no difference.

We remember how the years pile up
like children’s blocks we try so hard
to keep from crashing down.

We remember and at our best embrace
sweet gratitude.

 
Gudrun Mouw (c)
May 9, 2017

A Poem

April 21, 2017

I have been editing a nonfiction manuscript that I wrote before the death of my mother. I just recently took it up again after more than a decade. I began with some optimism and ease, expecting quick completion. (I was eager to move on to new ideas for another project.)

However, as I found myself in the midst of unresolved emotions, my efforts slowed down. Difficulties seemed to arise out of nowhere as judgments threatened. I wished I had never begun. I had to remind myself as a student and teacher of yoga, this situation, most likely, was the perfect opportunity for growth.

Deciding not to reside in emotional turmoil, I rededicated myself to be the neutral witness. I set aside my desire to rework the last chapter, returned to the beginning and am happy, for now on page 16, to pursue ongoing resolution.

April 23, 2017

I have been contemplating the concept that objectivity is not neutral as an extension of my recent return to neutral attention. Still, there is more. I have also been remembering things.

After reading poetry (on a university radio station) with a friend and fellow poet, my friend said to me: “Unfortunately, no one will know what a great writer you are until after you are dead.” This happened in the 1980’s. I also remember a barely concealed sneer by the radio interviewer regarding “women poets writing about their cats.”

Why did he ask us to come on his show? Had he not “read” our proposed selections ahead of time? Having written on the death of our family cat as a metaphor for something else, unfortunately, I allowed this experience to have a dampening effect on my writing life.

Now I write, because it is the song I have to offer. And every once in a while, I am reminded how women have not come as far as we sometimes like to think we have.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Journal Entry The Process of Writing