in an effort to broaden my poetry horizons, i have begun delving into Emily Dickinson on more than a superficial level, same with Mark Jarman and Mark Strand. I read "The Continuous Life" by Strand, all the way through, and then went back and started reading more closely. The more I read it, the more I see
why people call him a dark poet. He does tend to drift off into fascinating and occasionally disturbing 'what ifs' and while the writing itself seems at first fairly plain, the more you read the more it grabs at you.
Emily is doing the same thing. It isnt so much the individual poems but the body of work and your own speculations as to how much is metaphor and how much isnt. Poets write about what they know, what they dream, what is familiar, in one way or the other. From that premise, I'd say the only thing that kept her sane was the poetry. It seems to be almost dragged out of her, forcefully.
I had mark jarman as an instructor several years back at a poetry festival in West Chester, PA. I wasnt all that impressed with him as such, and his poetry at that time interested me only barely. But in reading what I can find online, I wish I had read more of it then.
And yes I have worked my way through Rilke. I'm gainin' on him.
Since im not writing much right now and probably won't for a few more years, this seems a good time to absorb what's out there. Whatever we read comes back later, changed, but there in some way.
weather report: mebbe a foot of snow, light and fluffy. More on the way.