The organic mechanic
Thinks the space shuttle’s
A chiasmic message
Rising from the earth
Like a stalk of corn
The permanent marks
scatter their utterance
like crickets or bats,
subject to skip and
flights of sound
rounding a corner.
We covered Billy Collins last night in my American literature class. We talked a lot about the false dichotomy between poems that are reasonably direct and easy to take in and notions of intellectual complexity and depth. I love Collins, for thumbing the eye of such pompousness.
One poem that gave us particular insights was "Workshop" which is easy on the brain, but also as rich as any I've found in language about language, poetry about poetry, and similar abstractions that open levels of meaning beyond the surface message of the text. It's also funny. Really funny.
Another great thing about these poems is they still get the idea that poetry can move on an emotional level. Ever since I heard Collins read it a couple of years ago, "The Lanyard" has been one of my favorites. Again, funny, but also touching.
It also turns out that there is a small YouTube cottage industry springing up around composing animations set to Collins's poems. My favorite has to be "The Country." The visuals really do give the work an extra kick. In some ways, I sense a connection here as well with ideas about the future of English Studies. There are, for instance, somewhat similar videos set to Wordsworth's poems, but they lack the freshness, and I would guess relevance in forward time that I feel in these Collins adaptations. "The child [may be] father to the man," but "The Country" is winning the "Favorited" competition big time.
From my son Palmer's first live show. Palmer is on the right--the dark one.
0:09 minutes (111.88 KB)
Jeff made a post about memory and the fit between blogging and reflecting with pleasure. In that spirit, I offer two items. The first is from my personal collection, an official KGBS CB Radio Guide. I actually sent off the SASE to have this thing mailed to me--must have been 1977. The second is a link to my own television memory item. No comment.