Jul 18, 2009

4th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don't forget about the Verse Reviewers link I'm creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the fourth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here's a poem up for reactions, interaction, and--dare I say it--analysis:

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock's books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don't like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Here's a poem from Yusef Komunyakaa's Dien Cai Dau (Page 27):

A Break From the Bush

The South China Sea
drives in another herd.
The volleyball's a punching bag:
Clem's already lost a tooth
& Johnny's left eye is swollen shut.
Frozen airlifted steaks burn
on a wire grill, & miles away
machine guns can be heard.
Pretending we're somewhere else,
we play harder.
Lee Otis, the point man,
high on Buddha grass,
buries himself up to his neck
in sand. "Can you see me now?
In this spot they gonna build
a Hilton. Invest in Paradise.
Bang, Bozos! You're dead."
Frenchie's cassette player
unravels Hendrix's "Purple Haze."
Snake, 17, from Daytona,
sits at the water's edge,
the ash on his cigarette
pointing to the ground
like a crooked finger. CJ,
who in three days will trip
a fragmentation mine,
runs after the ball
into the whitecaps,

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let's have a great discussion...pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!


Anna said...

This is a great collection of poems. I'm glad you chose one from this book.

I like how he paints a picture of these soldiers away from the fighting for a minute, and you're not thinking about what might happen to them afterward. Then he hits you with CJ's fate. And CJ doesn't know it yet. What a sad image.

Diary of an Eccentric

Anonymous said...

Yusef Komunyakaa can do absolutely no wrong in my mind. Those last lines are just killer.

teabird said...

Something about this poem calls Hunter Thompson to mind - a gonzo poet, collecting images and slamming them together.

"high on Buddha grass" what an image!

Serena said...

I love the images in this poem and how powerful they are. It is fantastic and one of my favorites.

Rebecca :) said...

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Serena said...

These are my favorite lines:
"The volleyball's a punching bag:
Clem's already lost a tooth
& Johnny's left eye is swollen shut."

They are so vivid.

Jeanne said...

I like "pretending we're somewhere else/we play harder," and those lines had even more resonance when I got down to the Jimi Hendrix line, because I immediately associated the scene with the Vietnam War movie based on Heart of Darkness, what was it called...Apocolypse Now.

Serena said...

Jeanne: It's funny because I recently watched Apocolypse Now on television when I decided on this poem. Hmmm, perhaps I was influenced by the tv. And yes, it is based on the Heart of Darkness.

I really enjoy the images in Komunyakaa's work...its very vivid.