Sunday, January 23, 2011
Showing, Telling, Meaning
And how 'bout that belly button?
I read Womb/Seed/Fruit too quickly, and too spottily, like the flower, when it first arrived, because I had recently encountered Donna's poems-in-process in the blogosphere and wanted to know her story. So now I've read it again, more slowly.
If you are a poet yourself, she is providing poetry prompts in her new blog, Put Words Together. Make Meaning.
And that's something that happens consistently in this chapbook! She puts words together to make meaning, not just for show! That is, she is able to balance telling with showing, and the book has a narrative arc predicted by its title and organization into 3 sections: Womb, Seed, Fruit.
We hear the story of a womb that will not function as hoped, in poems with such titles as "Diagnosis," "Empty Handed," Misconception," and "Barren Avenue." Even the titles tell you what you need to know, and the poems give you the images and feeling and hard thoughts to go with this difficult tale.
And then the beginnings of change and possibility in the Seed section, which ends in this insight, gleaned from travel to the ocean, the fondling of a shell:
...Perhaps this is
all it takes to understand the nature of things,
how they are reborn in different light,
how something stirs in the deep fissures
of the heart, seeps through, overflows.
And then there is Fruit! Poems of the son, of the mother, of empathy with other mothers. Womb, seed, fruit, and that marvelous flower on the cover.
The tropical flower might remind you of South Pacific, but last night I watched The Music Man, and enjoyed its special magic. The "think system" allows the blue-sky salesman's flim-flam plan...ah, with the help of real love, to bear fruit! And fancy red uniforms!
And, speaking of travel, check out Donna Vorreyer's poem "Navigation" in the new issue of The Literary Bohemian, an online journal dedicated to travel!