Saturday, May 20, 2006

Charles Wright's Metaphors of Ink

I had wanted to post my advance review of X-Men 3 today, but I have to wait until the paper says I can print it here, or until I can just link to it.
Suffice to say the movie was attrocious, Matrix 2 and 3 bad, which is as bad as bad gets. In the meantime: poetry.

Landscape with Missing Overtones is the first poem from Wright's Buffalo Yoga. Here is the whole thing:
The sun has set behind the Blue Ridge,
And evening with its blotting paper
                                                               lifts off the light.
Shadowy yards. Moon through the white pines.
Wright is a very "bookish" poet and often likens nature to writing. The central two lines here combine simplicity and ingenuity wonderfully;
the metaphor works perfectly even though the colors appear in "negative": blotting paper (white) is the night sky (black) and the light (white) is figured as ink (black). The title poem of Buffalo Yoga has another extraordinary ink metaphor:
A poem is read by the poet, who then becomes
That poem himself
For a little while,
                            caught in its glistening tentacles.
Figuring a poem as having tentacles seems like a bad metaphor at first glance — too much a stretch, weird for the sake of weird — until we remember that tentacles primarily remind us of squid and octopi, two creatures known for producing ink, the stuff of poetry.


saradani said...

You may have to wait to read Geoff's review of X-Men 3, but if you go here you can read mine. mwah ha ha ha ha ha

jennifert72 said...

i love the tentacles metaphor, not only because of its connection of the ink of the poem to the squid brilliant, but i enjoy the visuality of it. i also enjoy the idea of the totally encompassing (and maybe surprising) nature of being caught in tentacles/a poem.
on a personal note... i adore squid in general. they are incredibly amazing (and intelligent) animals!!! i recently had an interesting experience with one in an aquarium.

WindyBW said...

The other thing about tentacles, is that once they have you, you belong to them - like a compelling argument or an inspiring work of art.

saradani said...

I think it could be also interpreted in a dangerous way (beautiful danger, like a femme fatale or a good but 'dangerous' rush like cocaine), as in the tentacles of a jellyfish. The poet is caught and "paralyzed" momentarily by the tentacles of his/her own work.

Something to the effect of the idea of the creator and the creation relationship, who is in control, who is controlling, and the brief moments where the line is blurred between artist and art when one loses onself in the other.

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Geoff Klock said...

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