Friday, July 01, 2005


Well, B. is all moved in. We have a lovely lamplit bedroom, with our bed in the middle, all adult-style, flanked by two night tables each with their own Japanese lamp. (I'll not say more to preserve our privacy.) There are many posessions to be shelved or put in drawers, and some furnature still be be arranged, but our home, which is still Woody's home as well, is taking shape.

My reading of Frost continues. Today, I'm obsessed with "To Earthward". I've spent my spare thoughts today enjoying the density of the turn in the middle of the poem, especially the packed first line of the fifth stanza:

Now no joy but lacks salt,
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault

That first line is hard in the most satisfying way. Frost has the ability to use odd grammar and a kind of coloquialism that is really his own invention to say a lot in a very short space, and to slap his signature on a bit of language like no one else can. And then there is the lovely strangeness of the concluding metaphor, an observation of a commonplace thing that is almost always unnoticed (another Frost signature move), that sensation of leaning on the ground, of the body's own weight weighing on itself:

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.

This poem also reminds me of Frost's range--this first person lyric is so unlike the dramatic poems and short lyrics in distinct voices, like "Stopping by Woods..." As I felt when I first began to read Stevens seriously, I have the sense that I'm in the midst of discovering one of my own major poets, to whom I will return throughout my life.

Rereading William Bronk, who was important to me when I was first writing seriously in college, as well. Anyone else read Bronk?

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