Sunday, September 06, 2009

Leaping Poetry by Robert Bly

Leaping Poetry: An Idea with Poems and Translations chosen by Robert Bly is a curious collection of poems with contemplative essays by Bly in which he discusses association in poetry, focusing predominantly on Spanish poets. What is most remarkable about this book is how much meat there is included in so slender a volume. This book proves that good things do indeed come in small packages and that books should not be judged by their covers. I don’t know why there aren’t more books like this, that combine narrative forms to explore a single theme but I hope I can dig up some more treasures like this one. Normally I share a poem that I like from each book and the one I chose below is one that I like because I find it disturbing.
Conjugal by Russell Edson A man is bending his wife. He is bending her around something that she has bent herself around. She is around it, bent as he has bent her. He is convincing her. It is all so private between them. He bends her around the bedpost. No, he is bending her around the tripod of his camera. It is as if he teaches her to swim as if he teaches acrobatics as if he could form her into something wet that he delivers out of one life into another. And it is such a private thing the thing they do. He is forming her into the wallpaper he is smoothing her down into the flowers there and he is finding her nipples there and he is kissing her pubis. He is climbing into the wallpaper among the flowers his buttocks moves in and out of the wall.

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