Johanna Drucker Reviews A Quiet Passion - Johanna Drucker is not a fan of the Terence Davies’s new Emily Dickinson biopic. In this her Los Angeles Review of Books review, she compares A Quiet Passi...
Saturday, September 6, 2014
After a summer on the boat away from my desk and the internet, save speedy incursions into my email boxes from laundromats equipped with wifi, I've stockpiled quite a bit of work. I thought of back-dating and posting it all, but the organizational effort involved in that exercise of documentary fiction--"as if" I really were here, posting chronologically, all summer--made me miserable and hopeless. I felt as if I'd never be caught up. Add to that, the commencement of a new teaching semester, and I began to feel overwhelmed. Until some part of me--the better part of me--rebelled. Why begin a new term in arrears? Why not simply begin today, and see what happens? Sudden relief, as if I could breathe again.
Today's poem then, another sonnet (something about this form is haunting me, and bit by bit, creating its own shape), thematically apt.
You wake, you say
today will be different, today
I will do what I do what I must what I will
today I will efficient today
tasks completed today organized today
desk in order.
Today I will different.
Do today as if some one other
un-waylaid by wind or whim or
: this is the song you sing when you're dancing with a ghost
when samba flings your solar plexus when
deepstep come shining across
your painted sill waves at your feet suck
sand to sea beckon you to swim.
Italicized lines quote Alice Notley (the song you sing) from Benediction (2000)--the version found in her Grave of Light: New and Selected Poetry and C.D. Wright (deepstep come shining), from, of course, her Deepstep Come Shining (1998).
The photo, of old, new and blasted trees rooted in the same spot, was taken in a provincial park on Keats Island in Howe Sound, BC.