Monday, December 10, 2007

Figured Dark

Many years ago I went through a period where I lost interest in poetry. Then I happened to pick up one of those “World’s Favorite Poems” anthologies and to open it to Blake’s “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,” and I was hooked again. With all the arguments over poetics and the thousands of trendy and conventional poems published every day, it’s easy to forget the original impulse to poetry and why you fell in love with it in the first place.

Last week I read Greg Rappleye’s new book Figured Dark. Greg gets as involved as anyone in the blogosphere in arguments over poetics, but what I love about his poetry is that he seems to forget about all that when he sits down to write, and to sink into a place deep within himself, maybe within all of us. His poems make me remember what made me love poetry in the first place. Here’s a link to “Figured Dark,” the title poem of the book. Somehow it brings together Whistler’s Nocturne, Chet Baker’s music and morphine, archaeology and breasts and fireflies, and makes it all feel utterly natural. Not to mention the gorgeous sound of my new favorite word, Cremorne!


Diane K. Martin said...

Yes, great stuff. Thanks for the pointer, Robert. And thank you, Greg.

greg rappleye said...


Robert & Diane--thank you for your kind commments and for linking to the poem. "Cremorne" sounds like a name for a hot breakfast cereal--"Cremorne Oats."

KATE EVANS said...

So true that it's easy to forget why you love poetry if you get steeped in academia. I hope I don't ever kill poetry for my students--I try hard to celebrate its musical magic.