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School of Quietude?

Here's a poem that perhaps illustrates "the school of quietude."

(by Tony Leuzzi. BOA editions)

Lift the mollusk to your ear
and you will hear a cello weap
the neck of somber sea.

Press it closer to your ear
and you will hear an ardent bell
ring rills of water through your feet.

Pull it gently from your ear
and you will hear the pause
of tongues that fluttered once like wings.

So we have ear/hear. A cello weaping. The sea. Alliteration with "ring rills." 'Gently." And a nice ephiphany/escape/romantic metaphor of tongues as once wings. Once being key since this is elegiac.

Anyone want to defend this poem?

What does this poem point toward?

I am all for the mystical/spirtual experience but . . .


Greg said…
I'm not going to defend it. But I'll say I like it. I like the snapshot quality of each stanza. I like the sonorous sound of the words. I like the gentle slant of meaning. I'm not sure I get a mystical experience. I just get that simple but ineffable instant of a shell to the ear. Nothing wrong with that. Not every poem has to point to the revolution.
Anonymous said…
God, what a hilarious poem, Marcus! This cracks me up!


Tim Peterson
postpran said…
I am glad you also find humor in the poem. A poem that perhaps is "trying" for serious reverence toward the shell. A poem unawares. Unaware of it is stale as 100-year-old bread. I keep cracking up every time I get to "the neck of somber sea." "An ardent bell" a funny line as well.

The sea, the beautiful sea. Ah the romantic mollusk. The sea like our mother's womb. Ah, the cello of the dear sweet mollusk. Ah, our tongues were once free but alas no more. O the sea. The beautiful sea.

Wow. How bloody profound. It's like those cheesy landscape paintings at garage sales for a buck. Maybe it works for people who don't read poetry or see poetry as solidified and dead. Perhaps this type of poetry is like a landscape painting imitating a style of painting a few hundred years old. People pay hundreds of dollars because it's safe. It's comfortable. No one has to think. It's hallmark. It's paint by numbers. I know this is "POETRY" the moment I read the first line. Yes, give me a grant and say its poetry for the people. For the "common" person. For people who don't like to be confused. To not ask how does this add to the ongoing definition(s) of life, politics, art. This type of poetry may not have the money, the cultural prestige, of Hollywood films, romantic horror best sellers in the grocery store, and top forty tunes on the open-air radio, but it comes from the same fear. The same unadventurous spirit. The same damn shell.
Greg said…
Oh please. You guys are really self-important. I forgot. Hi Tim.
Anonymous said…
Hi Greg,

On the contrary, I think Marcus' point is that this poem is self-important. For example, my response to it was more like "give me a break" -- the diction is just so overinflated and ridiculous.

Tim Peterson
Anonymous said…
Hear, hear Marcus,

Great analysis and write up on -- what did Tim call it? -- a self important poem indeed.

Ken Rumble
Anonymous said…
Re: "Abalone" that damn self-important sounding poem...I actually wrote it and am flattered people are talking about it, even if the response seems fundamentally negative. How the heck did it get featured on this site? I only ran across it when, in a fit of self-importance, I googled my name in and saw this come up.

If it matters, the poem is a translitic. I translated it from a French poem for sound only. Not sense. Then I did some minor edits to make it sound somewhat coherent. It was an exercise in play. However, I LOVE the comments. I don't claim much for this poem, but an editor from BOA contacted me to feature it in their annual newsletter.

Thanks again for even taking the time to look at it.

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