Saturday, April 12, 2008
Joanna Straughn's Poetry
Joanna Straughn simply gets poetry. Her understanding of the mechanics of language and its lexical intricacies comes across ever so naturally and effortlessly.
Her structures are also some of my high-frequency borrowings. Her coinage 'disturbances of creations' as featured in the poem "Doves," lives happily in my daily verbal bank.
Straughn captures language with a unique kind of lexical sensitivity. At the same time she has the ability to see what most of us fail to discern, and in turn knows how to convert into language fundamental and poetic truths.
In “Tea Things” the poet writes, “Into one of the cups, I slowly poured tea/And offered it to someone else./The mouse’s song is not so different from the bird’s./The mouse’s nest is not so different from the bird’s./Oddly sometimes things are as they appear./But how can you tell?”
She knows how to clothe the unutterable with the appropriate mantle of expression. I read Joanna and I think,
‘yes, yes, I now know how to phrase what I sensed.’
The poet does that throughout her creations. She provides textual space for that which is left unattended. Like a seer, she has the sight and insight to observe things hidden and difficult to see and, in turn, translates them into beautiful structures.
I just finished re-reading Joanna’s book Instinct and the last thought I had was that poetic truth does indeed lie in the hidden treasures of the quotidian human experience. I encourage you all to get a copy of Instinct. It's emotionally and intellectually enlightening as well as poetically nourishing.
graph per brighthillpress