Friday, January 25, 2013

Readings and Greetings: What Love Comes to by Ruth Stone

While watching a You Tube video on TED presentations the speaker referred to a poet I'd never heard of, Ruth Stone.  It bothered me that I'd fallen out of touch with poetry readings, so I Googled the name Ruth Stone and became an instantly more curious.  Ruth Stone stated, "I decided very early on not to write like other people."  That convinced me to find her poems.  Her newest book in the Hutchinson Public Library is What Loves Comes To New and Selected Poems (c.2008), and it was just what a curious soul needs on a cold winter's day.

These lines I cut from a poem she wrote called Fragrance (p 45) --

Poems came to me
As if from far away.
I would feel them coming,
I would rush into the house,
Looking for paper and pencil.
It had to be quick,
For they passed through me
And were gone forever.

Instantly, I knew we shared a bond.  The more I read, the more I knew this lady who lives in the woods in snowy Vermont.  Perhaps she's a modern Thoreau or Robert Frost in her observance of nature.

Through out her life she has traveled and taught writing at several universities, and in her travels she must have passed through our golden state.

Kansas as Africa  (p.64)

The rolled hay is like hippopotami
and Kansas is the veldt.
The bare fields
after the snow is gone
pale gold in the sun;
and the occasional tree
twisted like the monkey puzzle tree
not yet leafed out,
dry and scaly.
And the blue snowmelt
makes water holes
for phantom zebras
and the slack stomachs of hunting lions
in the gold grass gone to seed beside the tracks.

Poetry reading is very personal.  One reason I enjoy it so much is that I can pick and choose which poems I'll read and reread.  A book of poems doesn't have to be read cover to cover, and that gives me freedom to ponder, reflect, or skip over and wonder, "what was she thinking when she wrote that?"

Ruth sees the corn, unlike myself, and writes in her poem “Seed” (p. 292): 

Corn is universal,
So like a Roman senator.
Its truths are silk tassels.
True its ears are sometimes
Rotten, impure,
But it aspires in vast acres,
Rectangular spaces,
To conspire with every pollinator
And to bear for the future
In its yellow hair.

I hope someone jumps into her books, full of enthusiasm and delight in the new, and comes away refreshed.  Tell me what do you think of this lady poet, Ruth Stone.

No comments:

Post a Comment