I spent part of my weekend checking out a few poetry journals, trying to keep up-to-date with what's out there. This is a great time for poetry; there is truly something for everyone.
Although I love studying the works of well-known poets, I want to pay some attention to the gorgeous and striking work that is being created right now, which deserves to be read but will never get the kind of PR allotted to "The DaVinci Code." At the Birmingham Poetry Review site, I found this poem by Fernand Roqueplan, and just had to share.
Everything Repeated Many Times
Met a man on a downtown Biloxi bus,
his affliction some doctor must
have phrases or explanations for:
everything repeated many times.
He described his house, called his house
yellow yellow yellow just like that:
thought maybe his mind worked in threes,
then he said his favorite color—red
red red red. I wasn't sorry for him
or irritated, thought how nice
having a head jabbed full of words
stripped of eloquence,
sophistry and oration tripped up:
afflicted with everything
repeated many times,
how difficult it would be to lie.
Told me his name name name—
John. I asked him again, and he said,
"My name name name is John."
Leashed to description
we call and contain; trammeled by ego
we badger and bestow.
"This is my stop stop
stop stop stop," John said, "the casino
with the red red red neon swordfish."
Someone laughed, and John stepped down.
When my turn came I whispered it a block
early to see how it sounded: stop stop
stop stop stop.
It's fascinating to read a poem where the speaker is encouraged to question the function of language in such an energetic way. The speaker feels that normally we are "leashed to description" and "trammeled by ego;" he finds honesty and even accuracy in the way John speaks. If something is red, and you want to emphasize that with language, how do you do that? Red, red, red. Why waste words on something so simply done?
Please take a few minutes to check out the Birmingham Poetry Review. There are three poems from the current issue you can read, all of which are wonderful.