Sunday, January 18, 2009

Come on up for the rising

The "We Are One" concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, televised on HBO this afternoon (on an open signal so that even we non-subscribers could view it), was just remarkable. Bruce Springsteen! Queen Latifah! U2! Pete Seeger! My neighbor (okay, he lives a few miles away) John Mellencamp! So many nice moments, and watching the Obama family dancing happily to Stevie Wonder made me absurdly happy. I think it's going to take a long time for Springsteen and Seeger to stop grinning. Who would have ever thought I'd see those two performing for the President-elect with Lincoln's visage looming in the background. Very, very, very cool.

* * * * *

Speaking of rising, the temperature finally rose above freezing for a few hours yesterday. It sank down again today, but stayed in the twenties, which is still considerably warmer than it was late last week. And I'm trying to break out of my own frozen stasis & get my act together about sending out some poems. That's tomorrow's task. Although I may work on a grant application instead. In any case, the plan is to work on getting stuff out there. Because it's not like anybody's going to do it for me.

* * * * *

Here's a brand-new draft, which I'll leave up for a day or so.


Lyle Daggett said...

I like the quiet intensity of the voice in the poem. It has a "raw nerve" kind of feeling (to me anyway), which feels right for what the poem is doing.

I'm curious why you put the poem in two-line stanzas? Was that how the poem came out as you wrote it, or was that something you did after the poem initially came out?

This is a question that I usually find myself asking when I read a poem that uses regularized stanzas. I guess it occurs to me about the draft here, because the two-line stanzas seem, to me, not to be part of the organic character of the poem.


I didn't see the Lincoln Memorial concert, and hadn't realized Pete Seeger would be performing at it. Seeger is 89, and still going, which is impressive (though not a surprise, really -- it's pretty hard to keep those old radicals down). His most recent CD, which came out during the past year, is called "Pete Seeger at 89," and features a lot of songs that he performs with musician friends from the Hudson River area in upstate New York where he lives.

Word verification is "quatonix," which sounds like it could be an album by, maybe, The Who.

Pamela said...

I like the intensity of this, too. It seems to me that Lyle has a strong comment about this being a 2-line stanza form (for the most part?) To me, it seems like triplets would work (BIAS DISCLAIMER: That's my preference for most of my own poems; the tercets terrace a poem and push the reader through the sentences in a way that, for me, couplets don't).

I also think the flotsam of your name is an astounding end. It links up really beautifully up those bottles passed furtively, with the idea of message, wish and also desperation for some kind of/any kind of contact.

Great work.

Collin Kelley said...

I think agree with Pamela on this. It seems a little fractured for me, but the images and the forward momentum of the piece are fantastic. Try tercets.

Word verification: slown

Anne said...

Lyle, Pamela, Collin - thanks! I will definitely play with the stanzas. This is very much first draft, just a few words shuffled here & there. I think sometimes using two-line stanzas helps me when I'm drafting because it gives me lots of white space, and reminds me to take little leaps now and then - my tendency is to be way too linear. Anyway, I'll play with the structure and see what happens. Thanks again! :)