Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Basic Poem in a Basic Tongue" by Lucie Brock-Broido

Here is the maudlin petty bourgeoisie of ruin.

A sullen pity-craft before the fallows of Allhallowmas.

The aristocracy in one green cortege at the registry of Vehicle
     and Animus.

A muster of pale stars stationed like gazelles just looking up,

                                              Before the rustle of the coming kill.

At home, the hoi polloi keep tendering the books of lob's
    despond, in Braille.

The girl at open half-door in her early Netherlandish light of

So many brooding swans like floating inkstains on a lake of
    slender wakefulness.


One feels that the poeticlanguage rejoices in its own flamboyance; it is an art of theatrical performance, with only a glance toward subject matter. Sound is as important to this aesthitic style as reference, even if reference is not left entirely behind. Moreover, the poem is still emotionally readable: a responsive reader will intuit the general atmosphere of narcotic, languorous mourning, and bathe in it. - Tony Hoagland

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