Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Discovery: Laura Kasischke

Thanks to Tony Hoagland's Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft, I've discovered a number of new (to me) poets. One who's immediately impressed me is Laura Kasischke (and don't ask me how to pronounce it); Hoagland says that she is "one of the premier image-makers of my generation" (" 'Tis Backed Like a Weasel": The Slipperiness of Metaphor," Real Sofistikashun, p. 27). Here are two poems of hers I've particularly liked in reading briefly over some of her work tonight:

(from Gardening in the Dark)

The howling pretends to bring on winter,

but the howling was there all along.

In the miniature roses, in the tiny bees,

in the glittering bits of whatever that was
we called the wind when it was spring:

(Oh, remember, Sweetheart, we called it breeze.)

* * *

"Pregnant at the All-night Supermarket"
(from Fire & Flower)

Ozone spills over the frozen rolls, the whole

breathing surface of the earth, the whole

unnatural world. Outside, rusty water

yawns up from a well, while
the moon deeply sleeps in her

damp chemise of cheese, while

nurses at the hospital nearby
hover over babies
wearing white. So

much fresh and living flesh
out there -- the fish-egg stars, Christ's
mildewed shroud -- but here

not even the dim
memory of mold. Here

my hand passes over
what I once wanted to buy -- all
those cold loaves and indifferent lies -- and I

begin to believe there's nothing left
in this world
I could bear to eat

until, leaving, I see
a Luna Moth on my windshield.

Its wings are pale green.


Blogger SarahJane said...

I have two of kasischke's books and also consider her one of my favorite contemporary poets. "Fire and Flower" is the better of the two I have. You must read Kasischke's Barney (the purple dinosaur) poem.

Do you like the Hoagland book? I looked at it recently on Amazon and it looked interesting, though Hoagland's poems usually leave me a bit lukewarm.


1:11 AM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

The Hoagland book is excellent; I hope to post a short review of it soon.

4:51 AM  
Blogger angie said...

These are wonderful poems. Thank you for the recommendations!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I didn't know this poet, Hedgie, but now I am interested and want to read more.

Could she be the poet chosen for you know what? e-mail will follow:-)

3:42 AM  
Blogger angie said...

Just wanted to thank you again for the Kasischke recommendation. I started reading "Fire and Flower" yesterday and am enthralled!

How did I come so late to poetry?

11:43 AM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Glad everyone's liking her; I think she's terrific and am glad others are liking her, too.

(Note to wings: thinking, thinking, . . . .)

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved 'Tis Backed By A Weasel and all of this book for that matter. Definitely opened my eyes not only to poets but poetics in a big way.

6:03 PM  

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