Rediscovering poetry blogs: On the power of the Internet

Thanks to Poetry365 for this.  I think Stephen Dunn was able to beautifully communicate why the Internet has such a strong pull on people.

Why you need to have one
is not much more mysterious than
why you don’t say what you think
at the birth of an ugly baby.
Or, you’ve just made love
and feel you’d rather have been
in a dark booth where you partner
was nodding, whispering yes, yes,
you’re brilliant. The secret life
begins early, is kept alive
in you, all that you know
a Baptist, say, or some other
accountant would object to.
It becomes what you’d most protect
if the government said you can protect
one thing, all else is ours.
When you write late at night
it’s like a small fire
in a clearing, it’s what
radiates and what can hurt
if you get too close to it.
It’s why your silence is a kind of truth.
Even when you speak to your best friend,
the one who’ll never betray you,
you always leave out one thing,
a secret life is that important.

More fiction links that I cam across, looking for an O Magazine Stephen Dunn quote…

Gods and humans both. If we didn’t need something between five and seven, no one would put up with six.”

Interesting how we fall in love:
in my case, absolutely. Absolutely, and, alas, often—
so it was in my youth.
And always with rather boyish men—
unformed, sullen, or shyly kicking the dead leaves:
in the manner of Balanchine.
Nor did I see them as as versions of the same thing.
I, with my inflexible Platonism,
my fierce seeing of only one thing at a time:
I ruled against the indefinite article.
And yet, the mistakes of my youth
made me hopeless, because they repeated themselves,
as is commonly true.
But in you I felt something beyond the archetype—
a true expansiveness, a buoyance and love of the earth
utterly alien to my nature. To my credit,
I blessed my good fortune in you.
Blessed it absolutely, in the manner of those years.
And you in your wisdom and cruelty
gradually taught me the meaninglessness of that term.

“Even some smart women are fooled,though the smartest know that to communicate
is a form of withholding,
a commercial for intimacy while the heart

hides in its little pocket of words.
And women use the word too,
everyone who doesn’t have the gift

of communication uses it.
It’s like the abused
asking for love, never having known

what it feels like, not trusting it
if it lacks pain.
But let’s say that a good man and a good woman,

with no motives other than desire
for greater closeness,
who’ve heard communication is the answer,

sign up for a course at the Y,
seek counseling,
set aside two hours in the week

for significant talk. What hope for them?”

Little Essay on Communication, Stephen Dunn

Clare from Greenbelt, Maryland In “A Romance” the figure of the woman is the abstract thinker–“She spoke about the possible/precision of doubt”, while the male figure is purely practical and only makes a non-pragmatic statement in his sleep–“the half-shut eye of the moon.” Another poet might have gone on to attempt some larger comment about this pairing, why have you left the poem as it is? Why is it, do you think, that so many poets (professors) will tell you that poems that are quiet and simple on the surface, must do more, push farther in order to be successful? 

STEPHEN DUNN: Well, sometimes they might be right, it would depend on how earned the quietness and simplicity is, or should I say how successfully orchestrated it is. In the poem of mine that you mention, I think that I felt that the juxtapositioning of the couple’s musings sufficiently suggested the nature of their relationship, or suggested the mystery of it.


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