Thursday, July 1, 2010


Poem of the Day:
Louise Gluck's "Civilization"
The Seven Ages

Gluck writes of, what I think is an often debated word use, "civilization." She envisions it as a force permeating the human race at an evolutionary speed: "But the facts persisted. They were among us,/isolated and without pattern; they were among us,/shaping us" (lines 14-16). In Gluck's eyes, it is up to the human mind to bring shape to these "facts," to apprehend the world deeply "though it could never be mastered" (line 31).

At the one-month mark of my self-challenge I have had time -- not much, since I have a job and an internship -- but some time to reflect upon the process of encountering, at times head-first, a poem a day. It has been difficult many days to find a connection between an instance in my day and a published poem; one is certainly more crafted than the other. But nonetheless it has only supported the concept that poetry is written of the most raw moments, those moments that at first, second, and third glance seem so mundane. The poem takes the time to look a fourth time. Such patience delivers a flourish of language that brings to life the daily grind that binds us.

Gluck's poem is fitting, though I think she overestimates the array of the world. She writes, "They [facts] were among us,/not singly, as in chaos, but woven/into relationship or set in order" (lines 28-30). I think that the order is not ours to discover , but ours to create.

I like to think that's what this small project is about -- creating a semblance of order among my diurnal waking and the persistent power of verse.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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