This week has been all about poetry. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for some poetry and other times I just stumble back across it in odd ways. The latter is what happened this week.
I happened to come across a blog post that announced a new book of poetry by Ellen Bass. Bass is a feminist poet I was introduced to in college and for some reason I've been seeing her name pop up on random websites even though her work is pretty obscure--at least to the mainstream. So I started re-reading poems by her.
Then I stumbled on a book of poetry (on my shelf) I had started and never finished by a male poet name Michael Dickman. These two poets couldn't be much more different from one another.
So here's a few lines from Dickman's book of poetry titled The End of the West:
Do you think there's a difference/for the Lord/between/slow dancing in the kitchen at night, no music, your arms around my neck, and later/my face/in your ass?
And here are a few from Bass in Of Separateness and Merging:
My feet catch. There is no slide/But I carry my head high, like an offering/I take in air like a white sail in wind/I don't pretend I'm just fooling around/I am dancing.
These lines might not be completely representational of the works as a whole, but it gives you an idea of the tone. I'm not sure I've learned anything from reading these two works together except that I would caution anyone else from doing the same.
It was hard to process the bleak, strange, and at times horrific images presented by Dickman because it was just so masculine on some level and Bass is the opposite end of that spectrum. Maybe I'll re-read Dickman's work eventually.
But in the meantime, I am still excited about the new Bass book.