Tuesday, December 27, 2005

If Broadcloth Hearts are firmer--
Than those of Organdy--

Who is to blame? The Weaver?
Ah, the bewildering thread!
The Tapestries of Paradise
So notelessly -- are made.

--Emily Dickinson (from #278)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I just made the most interesting discovery while I was studying for exams yesterday! Emily Dickinson's sister's name was Lavinia. What a strange coincidence! Emily and her strange isolated writing, and her binding of her poems, and Shakespeare's Lavinia (from Titus Andronicus) based on the tragic Philomela (who after being raped and having her tongue cut out by her sister's suitor wove her story into a tapestry) who also had a sister Procne. Philomela was transformed into a nightingale at end of the tale and that's partly why the nightingale came to represent the inspired poet in the middle ages and renaissance. What a cool coincidence. There is just something about the figure of Philomela/Lavinia that haunts me. It's a horrific story. But that motif, of a woman who losses her voice, and (in Lavinia's case her hands as well) is symbolic of the woman writer. The brother's Grimm also told a story of the miller's daughter who losses her hands and is no longer able to communicate.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I just found the most amazing used bookstore. It's cavernous and its poetry section is solid. There was an entire shelf of Ezra Pound! It was like bookshopping in Berkeley again. There is nothing like the high you feel when you find a new, perfect bookstore. You don't even have to buy anything. You just have to go and absorb all those texts surrounding you.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I actually said to my husband today that I understand why Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suicidal. I was joking. But, to be a writer and a mother of two young children that won't take naps and won't listen is enough to tug and pull at the most iron of nerves. That quiet desperation that every mother feels when the kids are crying and the laundry needs be done and the clutter of the house is pushing in on her is real and often unsaid (or unheard).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Snow, snow, and more snow. I haven't worked on a poem in two weeks. But I did have my Dad do some research for me. I was looking for the name of this old haunted house in the town of Bodega (it's the town where Alfred Hitchcock filmed the film, The Birds and also the town where I was married -- the church was actually in the movie). I've been waiting for him to send me the name of the building and I guess I've been using that as a reason not to sait down and finish the poem. Now that I've got it, I'll have to get back to work. It's called the Duran House. When I was growing up (in the outskirts of Bodega) a story was being passed around about a ghost who frequented the Duran House. A girl, with a blue glow. WHo'd just sit at the top of the steps and look down. She may finally make an appearance in one of my poems. We'll see if she fits.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Writing as Sappho wasn't as successful as I would have liked. It was hard not sound forced. She is one of my favorite poets, so maybe that's what's holding me back? By getting frustrated about sappho's voice, I did, however, think of a new angle for my piece on Donne's wife. I'm going to write two scenes - one from the perspective of when she is living and the other literally spoken from her grave. We'll see how it goes.

We 've gotten a lot of snow here today. I broke down and bought boots for the first time. I had to buy them for my son. So, I tried on a pair for myself and I must say, they are nice! I like having dry feet in the winter! Does this mean I am finally embracing the Cleveland winter? I'm also craving one of those foot-length puffy jackets. It would be like walking around in a comforter.