Tuesday, April 21, 2009

what is it called?

I've recently rediscovered Edna St. Vincent Millay and how wonderfully effusive terseness could be. Within a few lines, she can quite literally bring a tear to my eye. This poem, which I stumbled upon during a 15 minute lunch break from my part-time furniture selling job, solicited a drop or two before heading back to the register:

Quite affective, right? The syntax clean but layered. The imagery sharp yet rich and not overdone. But what struck me most was the form. I created a contest on facebook by uploading this image mobile-y:

Yes, it is just kind of weird. To me, the form suggests a tone of something between elegiac and romantic. In any case, I tried my hand at--what I will call--this Millayan nonetspettolet. Okay, that doesn't quite roll off of the tongue. What better subject than another apology poem to my mother?

To Mommy
It’s an impossible task to have a son,
Give a finite answer of what is asked,
To count and repay all that is summed.
This, all, she does in all the salt
That’s in her sweat, until her body’s last
Beat of heart or her milk to malt.
All my successes were of her done.
Then let me try to answer it:
Your love and doing is infinite.

Okay, it's rough, but I have to say, writing one is cathartic.

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