I came back to find three questions resulting from my “Ask me anything about me that you would know if you knew me in real life” meme, all from the same person.
The first question was: Explain in one sentence why you love three particular poets.
This didn’t specify living or dead poets, so… you get three living, and three dead, poets.
is one of my favorite living poets because he stretches my brain in enough directions and he has a clarity of metaphor that I find admirable, and he has a clever way of using ‘I’ in his poems that really means “everyone”, but in a sneaky way that leaves me spellbound.
is the only poet who has ever made me not clap, because I was so in awe of the poem that I forgot to applaud; the poem’s title was 4/19/1995 (Rumination on Scenes From a Florida Sofa), in her chap book all the missing things that I love, and I will never forget how the hairs stood up on the back of my neck as she imitated her son imitating a fire truck [note the use of parenthetical and bracketed remarks to make a sentence, paragraphical].
is the only poet I know who doesn’t like phoenixes, for he used the image of their cracked-open shells to crack my consciousness about how to play with myth in a completely new way that I haven’t figured out how to use yet, but know that I want to.
And for dead poets…
Homer composed the Iliad and the Odyssey so the rest of us schmuck poets would have some sense of how powerful metaphor could be; just read book eleven of the Iliad aloud, any translation will do, and you’ll see the power that words comparing unlike things can command.
Fujiwara No Michinobu wrote, “In the dawn, although I know // it will grow dark again // how I hate the coming day” and I thank him for it.
Sappho gave us the most elegant form
of two long lines followed by a short one
Question #2: would you/could you hang up the “priest hat”? How much is need, and how much is ego?
Sunday night on our way to poetry, and I stopped to help a stranded motorist. It turned out he was Icelandic, and his wife had the wolf as a totem, and they had his mother with them. They were descended from Snorri Sturlusson and one of the characters in Njal’s Saga, and they lived in the Vestmann Islands off the south coast of Iceland. They were in the US partly because he has a job in the Worcester area, and partly because his mom and aunt wanted to go to a skraeling pow-wow, which they were coming home from when their car broke.
In thanks for our help, which consisted of taking his mom, aunt and wife home, Olaf gave me the rune which is the Helm of Awe, providing help in overcoming and subduing enemies.
So… I think the answer is, no, I couldn’t hang up the priest hat even if I wanted to; and it’s partly need, and partly ego, and you get to decide which you think it is. Me, I don’t think I get to worry about it too much. I do what I feel I need to, when I need to do it. Is it Spirit? Higher Power? God? Goddess? Ego?
I think if it were Ego, the rune of the Helm of Awe would not now be on my keychain.
Question #3: Are you vanilla or risque?
You probably have to ask about that, and I would say that it isn’t much fun to be telling, anyway. We’re getting comfortable with a lot of things as a couple, and we’re happy about that; at the moment we’re interested in deepening our relationship as a couple, because that’s where we need to be right now.