Monday, December 15, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Intrusion" by Carolyn Martin, Poet of the Week

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Intrusion” by Carolyn Martin, Poet of the Week.  A brief biography of the poet may be found here:

Carolyn Martin

Scrawled across receipts and banking slips:
We tease about the view … A leap, a twist …
The darkness slides … With shouts of birds … And tilts
of taste … Red amaryllis startles me ….

This agile arrogance of words! To think
they own my time and focus me away
from bills and politics; from quakes and wars
and mindless chores that order formless days.

These snips delay a morning run, a sip
of tea. They shun a winter sun surfing
through evergreens. Demand a page and vie
to be arranged and rearranged as if,

like juried paintings in a gallery,
they merit perfect pace and slants of light. 
This unrelenting insolence of phrase
scavenges free verse refusing to stay

free. Tracks risky resonance. Claims voice – bold,
tenacious, strange. Untilt the bird, it tones.
Tease flowers through a darkened land. Then leap,
twist, slide. Find compass in the words at hand.

Poet’s Notes:  Like many writers, I’ve learned if I don’t immediately jot down a word or phrase that’s popped into my head, I’ll lose them within the next few minutes. Hence, I’ve grabbed anything near at hand to save them – whether it’s a Safeway grocery receipt or the back of an envelope. The accumulation of snippets of poetry on all sizes and shapes of paper was the springboard for this poem. That led me to pursue the notion that the poet can become so consumed and distracted by words and images that everyday demands are often put on hold.

Editor’s Note:  Martin’s modern approach to the quatrain is refreshing, worthy of Wordsworth yet new, with a verse form that sings like rhymed iambic pentameter while remaining blank.  I am reminded also of Emily Dickinson--by the form of the quatrains as well as by the theme of writing snippets of poetry on scraps, something for which Dickinson was known (several scraps are above pictured).  

I also appreciate Martin's satirical and perhaps counterintuitive take on the life of a poet.  Most poets complain about how the quotidian aspects of life intrude upon their writing time.  This poet maintains the opposite--an interesting twist.  “Intrusion” was first published in Verseweavers (2011).

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