May 03, 2005

found poet, remembering when

Thanks to Ebony, I found a new poet again today whose work I love. By "new...again", I mean that I do not remember ever having read any of her poems before, but when I looked her up on Google, I found that her photo was familiar. Those glasses are unmistakeable. (Not to mention unflattering - I wonder if she wore them to hide or just didn't care?) So I must have read something of hers, sometime before.

Here's why I like her: I am a hopeless philistine. I want poetry to mean something to me. Sometimes, as with Kipling or some of Donne's, it's a literal story; sometimes, as with Yeats or other Donne it's a flash of feeling. But a lot of modern poetry (say, from the 1970s on) leaves me cold. Some poets seem to equate obfuscation with depth, when anyone who's looked at a muddy creek knows it's entirely possibly to be both opaque and shallow. Fortunately, there are others, and Mary Oliver is one of them whose work speaks intelligibly to me.

Also, in looking to see what I'd written about Oliver or modern poetry before, I found a poem I'd written a few years ago and hadn't indexed, so that was a bonus. Appropriately enough, it reminds me a little of her work - not in terms of quality but of similar theme.

The meme below is one I've stolen from LA. This one has been around for a while, but I've never done it before (I don't think.)

25 years ago
May 1980. I was 13 and in 8th grade. My Bat Mitzvah was two months before, so my mother and I were involved in using some of the money I'd been given to buy me a new bedroom set to replace the bed and dresser I'd had since graduating from a crib. I was probably still under 5' tall, wearing preteen sizes, and most of a year away from menarche.

20 years ago
May 1985. Spring of freshman year. I was finishing exams, then heading off to Ocean City, NJ, where the friend whose parents' beach house we were staying at would become my first serious boyfriend, the only person other than RUdder or family to whom I've ever used the 'l' word.

15 years ago
May 1990. I was 23 and had met Rudder 2 months before. He was coming over after work every night, and we never quite got to sleep as early as we'd planned. Within the next month he would talk me into taking rowing lessons, and we would select an apartment together. We officially moved in together that Spetember, when my lease was up.

10 years ago
May 1995. I was entering the last semester of my MS, working on simulating the Thermal Control System of the Space Station for the astronaut trainer, and soon to begin the job hunt that would land me in this city by the end of the year.

5 years ago
May 2000. We were in our current house. I was working at an internet company. The lake had opened to less than a year before, and I think I was finally giving in and joining the 5AM competitve rowing program. Coach DI was (in my opinion) unnecessarily hard on us, but I did get in better shape than I had ever been in.

3 years ago
May 2002. I had been working at this company for three months. I was getting ready for my first time competing in the GOld Rush Regatta, in which I'll be competing for the fourth time in a few weeks (though probably just in the 300m dash at the end of the day this time). With the month, I'd get my navel pierced (it still is). I'd been writing in this journal (in its Diaryland incarnation) for fourteen months.

Last year
May 2004. Nothing major going on. I was training hard for the same regatta, had written a story plot though not a story (the fiction urge seems to be a yearly thing), and began using a Diva Cup. (I still am - well, not continuously-still, but every-monthly-still, of course.) I passed my Biannual Flight Review.

This year
May 2005. I'm working for the same company though at a site only half an hour from home, instead of an hour or more. I'm still rowing and lifting weights, but have scaled back a bit because I'm working on an Instrument Flight Rating.

I slept in until 6 and skipped the workout because I'd flown back from Houston and gotten in a little late the previous night. Rudder and I hit the local bewpub for dinner, and I reread one of Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling mysteries, having picked up several at Half-Price Books on my trip.

Erged 5000 meters, got into work by 6:30 AM to get ready for a big meeting. Tonight I'm flying with one of the instructors I like most.

Posted by dichroic at May 3, 2005 01:24 PM
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