Monday, November 30, 2009
Community of Poetry Readers = COP'Rs
Eight of us gathered yesterday afternoon for the second meeting of our new poetry reading group. And like the first time, it was energizing. Once a month we come together -- from all over Washington State -- to talk about poetry and read poems aloud to each other. Here is Deborah Digges reading "Telling the Bees," a poem we talked about for a long time. I learned that there is a tradition to actually tell the bees when the beekeeper has died. In addition, there is a sense that bees are positive insects. They are messengers to the other world and nectar literally means "that which surpasses death." What a smart group of people I get to hang out with. We talked a long time on the recurring images of the poems: bridges, lifting, boats, Persephone and the sense of hanging in the balance between life and death. It's hard to read these poems as "only" poems knowing that Digges did (or didn't) jump from a stadium last spring.
This coming May, Random House publishes her collected poems, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart, which is also the title of her poem published posthumously in The New Yorker. It's a stunning poem - a fugue of sorts - right here.