Aug 29, 2009

10th 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 tenth 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.



Today's poem is a contemporary poem from Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and his book Delight & Shadows:

Walking on Tiptoe

Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others--horse, dog, and tiger--
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.

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

I've you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles, check them out here. It's never too late to join the discussion.



9 comments:

regularrumination said...

I love Ted Kooser! We read his Poetry Toolkit in my intro to creative writing class and I loved it. He's got a lot of really interesting ideas about poetry. Some I didn't agree with completely, but still such a fascinating little book.

My favorite line in this poem is:

"There is little spring to our walk/
we are so burdened with responsibility/
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments/
the killings, and all with our feet/
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered."

It's sort of like the thesis of the poem, if a poem can have such a thing. It is so layered and say so much about humanity, humans vs nature, vs animals, vs ourselves. You know, all those themes that you learned in the tenth grade.

It's also a poem about finding pure joy despite all our burdens. This is a great choice! It's such a tight poem; very economical. I really like it :)

Serena said...

I adore Kooser's poetry and that Toolkit book.

I love how each word in this poem is carrying its own weight (so to speak), working hard to bring to the surface the need to find joy in everything in their lives. Wonderful poem. I adore this collection.

Kyle said...

With this particular poem, I'm somehow reminded of Thoreau. I guess it's the "nature" in the poem and, perhaps, the defiant way the speaker speaks about life. I'd not read this before--and I'm admittedly not an expert on poetry! Far from it.

Kyle said...

To elaborate, it's this:

"But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark."

That's what I mean about defiant. "stealing past doors...suddenly able to see in the dark." It's imaginary, but suggestive.

Serena said...

Kyle: I'm not sure how much of Kooser is influenced by Thoreau, but nature in poetry always reminds me of Thoreau...I love that defiance in this poem, btw.

Anna said...

I don't remember reading any Kooser previously, but I must have...his name sounds so familiar.

This one really makes you think. I love the image of the mouse straining under the weight of the dog food.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Jeanne said...

I love this poem because I have a daughter who still (now at 16) walks on her tiptoes all the time. I like to think it's because she does still have some "spring to [her] walk." Here's my short post about this poem: http://necromancyneverpays.blogspot.com/2008/03/tiptoeing.html

Serena said...

I love Kooser! And those lines are so vivid for me too...I can see the strain and the sweat pouring off the mouse with the dog food on his back. :) I tend to think in cartoonish images...lol

Serena said...

Jeanne: great short post. I hope you'll be back every week!