Midwinter Day – Part Six (b): ends with a sonnet

…interesting rhyming scheme at the very end: aabbcc, deed.  Is this a herald of a return to formalism in poetry that the modernists so soundly rejected? Or could there be a message in the “deed”?  
 
Or more to the formalism point, could it be that the whole thing ends in a sonnet?  The rhyming scheme actually starts much earlier:
 
Well, I have to close them
This paid incandescent light
Is like the vigil of a virgin
Last to tell before my eyes I’ll end.
 
From dreams I made sentences, then what I’ve seen today,
The past the past of afternoons of stories like memory
To seeing as a plain introduction to modes of love and reason
Then to end I guess with love, a method to this winter season
Now I’ve said this love it’s all I can remember
Of Midwinter Day the twenty-second of December
 
Welcome sun, at last with thy softer light
That takes the bite from winter weather
And weaves the random cloth of life together
And drives away the long black light!  
 
“From dreams I made sentences….a method to this winter season/Now I’ve said this love…”
 
The shortest day ends in structure and order preceding the longest night, the most total darkness…
 
Thanks, Julia, for leading us on this caravan!  
 
 

Midwinter Day – Part Five

For better or for worse, despite all the vast richness of Part Five, I peeped ahead to Part Six and found a passage I’d like to share today.  From p. 102:

“…Wagner felt he had to wear

Satin dressing gowns in order to compose

I am ashamed that death obsesses me

But death is just the usual

The obsessiveness is something I won at poker

Where I’m remembering what’s been played

So I can play my hand so no one ever dies

                                                                   How preoccupying

Is the wish to include all or to leave all out

Some say either wish is against a poem or art

                                                                       I’m asking

Is it an insane wish?

                               To be besieged, beset with,

To have to sit with, to be harassed, obsessed,

To be possessed or ruled by

                                            I am confused by

Fear, perfection and love, this poem,

Order, mourning, vigilance and beer

And cigarettes and directness

Or clarity, words, truth or writing

Or the sublime…”

Midwinter Day – Part Four

I gotta confess, it was a tough slog getting through Part Four of Bernadette’s Midwinter Day today (yes we are on a first name basis by now, silly!). But this gem at the very end made the slog all worthwhile:

“I have a sensation of waiting, you should call and tell me how the rest might go. Like an important letter, a whole different matter, if I only knew what I need to know. You call and I say in some way I already know all about it, I expected it. That’s a story that might happen today, I don’t dare to end as death is still bewildering, love might be trick and you are another. But to be beginning I’ll only say that to have you as love is like the history of this idiosyncrasy. If that is not a story then I who have so far listened so much and now am beginning to be able to say something, which is another story, am surprised.” 

Midwinter Day – Part Three

Today’s passage from Bernadette Mayer‘s Midwinter Day section 3 leaves me breathless (and it is December 18, the first anniversary of the lynching…).  It is from p. 46, as we lumber onward to the shortest day of the year…

“And the energy of the world mainly comes
From the hearts of the homeostatic people in it
Who hopscotch around, either picking up the stone or kicking it
And should be left alone without invasions or savings
Though there are masses and classes of people,
                                                                             I don’t deny it
What but the impulse to move and speak
                                                                Can change the world”

Midwinter Day – Parts One and Two

Loving this passage from Bernadette Mayer‘s Midwinter Day, section II.

“If we’re all wrong about everything, the life so short and the craft so long to learn, the assay so hard, so sharp the conquering, the dreadful joy that passes so quick and then being left alone again, what I mean is love astonishes my feeling with its wonderful working so ardently so painfully that when I’m thinking about such certainty I don’t know like the earth if I’m floating or sinking.”