Friday, February 13, 2009

I have taken the plum images that were in that poem / And which you were probably saving for reading again

The New Yorker ran a poem last week by one Jane Hirshfield called French Horn. It doesn't strike me as the kind of poem Pete would like, but it's enough of an intersection anyway for a lunchbreak reading link.

I generally don't read poems they print in the New Yorker. I do like this one, though: it's got all the things I like in a poem. (Brevity; generous imagery; fleeting reference to a Mahler symphony.) The scene change left me with the image of the horn player and violist alone in a yard with the plum tree behind them, and then I had to go back and figure out when I was supposed to be imagining the orchestra. I tend to need some literalist handholding when reading poetry in general; I think it's part of why I don't ultimately read that much poetry.


Blogger Pete said...

I like plums... mmmm... plums!

2/13/2009 3:13 PM  
Blogger nate said...

"The boy playing his intricate horn . . . / turns it and turns it, dismantles a section, / shakes from it the condensation / of human passage" strikes me as an uncommonly graceful description of that maneuver, mostly because I remember Mom yelling at Pete for doing it onto the living room carpet.

2/13/2009 9:02 PM  

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