Sunday, November 25, 2012

Caribou



Doll by Junsung Lee




Caribou




I am a caribou
under construction
derricked by dolls, secondly sighted.
I bask in my horns,
my adornment of goatbeard
my split-quickened hooves, all
the better to bolt
from the mastering hand.

I could tell you much about
bleating in lichens, waiting for the rut;
how poetry's a pillow of moss made lead
stuck awkward beneath the unquiet head
tossing sharp antlers that keep it erect;
how love is a forage of poisoned grass
caught in rough lips, slick liquid gold
slipping from have, rolling from hold

but I need to run, because running's my life,
away from this scaffold that's
nailed to the sky, away from the
brushes, the laboratory eye
to the tan tundra's ten generations of night,
where my numberless sisters
dance with white wolves
to buckle the worlds.


~November 2011









Posted for   real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge
Margaret Bednar posts some amazing photographs of dolls created by students as a class project in self-representation in art. They are amazing and I encourage everyone to follow the link and check them all out.





24 comments:

  1. Note to Kerry: Sorry to violate your instructions to not write to this photo in Fireblossom's wake--I wrote it before reading her superlative take, but I hope my alternate vision is not too offensive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha! (It was that Catblossom..I was scared I'd offend her sensibilities if my comment wasn't good enough for her.)Nevertheless.. Your first three lines have won me over and taken me to a whole new place! Amazing how inventively these dolls have allowed the poets to think.

    I love your reference to poetry in the second stanza, and all the lovely pillows of moss and liquid gold. Then the imperative rhythm forcing the reader on as the caribou runs free. What a wonderful ride this was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catblossom lives to intimidate(and impress, of course)so I completely understand. ;_) Thanks, Kerry. And I agree, what a source of inspiration the dolls are.

      Delete
    2. Catblossom has authorized me to say that she regards both of you dubiously!

      Delete
  3. really cool verse hedge...dericked by dools second sighted, cool line that...and the poetry a pillow of moss made lead, love the poisonous grass...enjoy the freedom of the tundra

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know I wondered what you would do with the dolls, since your own doll poem was pretty impossible to top--that's not exactly the word, but since your own doll poem seemed as if it would make the territory difficult to revisit, especially since it was so recent, but here you've gone and done this one.

    It's really terrific and vibrant especially because there's this mix of the doll and the real which is so vivid (and actually parallels the way we tend to think of animals in the modern world - sentimentalizing them as figurines - not that your poem does this - but I refer only to the part where it is surrounded by dolls in the beginning, and then kind of tethering them into tight spaces.)

    Of course, your caribou then comes to somewhat lively spiritual and physical and metaphorical life, running into the night! Very cool. (No joke intended.)

    They are such great dolls. I can't imagine doing a poem somehow on one - I don't know - but they are worth a visit. And certainly yours has opened up one's thinking. (Mine, I mean.) k.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't imagine doing one either, especially since I'd just written that complicated one about a doll, as you note, but I really wanted to, because I thought all of the dolls pictured were very much perfect subjects for a poem. Luckily I was staring at this one, and the words decided to happen. Thanks for reading, k. Have a great Sunday.

      Delete
    2. You too - btw split-quickened hoof is just genius. A particularly memorable phrase. k.

      Delete
    3. I really like that phrase,too!!

      Delete
  5. This a written delight. "Derricked by dolls, secondly sighted". The first is unusual and sounds cool with the alliteration, and the second part uses an adjective and changes it to an adverb to modify another adjective. Tricky, and it's that sort of invention with words that can go a long way toward making a poem fresh.

    I love how this work of art longs to "bolt from the mastering hand" that made it, wanting to be itself in its own right and on its own terms. Toys these days, you can't keep them down on the farm!

    I adore adore adore "slipping from have, rolling from hold" in reference to love. Isn't that the way of it? Like trying to balance a glass of water on a ball, on a ship in the middle of a tossing sea. And again, the creativity with words, turning verbs into subjects to be modified by other verbs, as if those subjects were nouns. Sounds awful and pedantic put that way, but put *your* way, in the poem, it is marvelous.

    The caribou needs to run because running is its life. Is there any need for further bullshitting around? All creatures long to do the thing they were born to do. People do, and animals likewise; they are not some sort of adjuncts humans have been given dominion over. I just don't believe that. They live for their own purposes. Who knew that dolls could feel the same way!

    PS--this was the doll that leapt to my eye right away. I'm glad you chose it, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this doll nailed me instantly, though some of the others--well, all of the others, are really interesting as well. And I love your take on it, so different yet somehow, sharing a common mood a bit, I think. Maybe it's that wild gypsy/viking thing that wants to run loose wreaking havoc and tossing its Mane n Tail. Thanks, Shay, for this wonderful comment which you know means the world to me. I'm glad Catblossom allowed you out long enough to visit.

      Delete
  6. I don't quite follow the discussion in the comments but I do like your poem and have so enjoyed seeing what people have done with the different dolls.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just love how you delve right into this pov, Hedge and on top of that I really enjoy the poetic candy...chewing on all those wonderful sounds you played with in this one!!!The placement of tundra and numberless is just one example of how you worked this piece...so many more that make the rhyming fun and unique!

    This portion is my favorite:

    " love is a forage of poisoned grass
    caught in rough lips, slick liquid gold
    slipping from have, rolling from hold"

    I just LOVE that!! Great write Hedgie!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hannah! That last stanza was the trickiest, so I'm glad it worked for you, and glad you got some fun out of it all.

      Delete
  8. I think it's best we're not told such things. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
    Jus ask the white wolves~study their grin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I like their dancing better than their singing.

      Delete
  9. Please stay just a while dear Caribou .. we have so much to learn from you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I could tell you... but I guess we must experience life for ourselves. We create with words and mold images and they take off with a life of their own sometimes. Even the animals we "tame" - they must long for more than we can give them.

    That's what I got out of this poem... and your alliteration always blows me away as I have learned to read your poems out loud... the third stanza was a joy to the tongue (and ear :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. As always I am blown away by your talent. Gotta experience life in our own terms...fail and earn at our own pace...I think we are all caribou under construction..

    ReplyDelete
  12. too many amazing lines to quote ~ stunning writing, as always, Joy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow...I'm at the end of the comments and that is all I can add. Wow. So I'll spell it backwards, wow.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, I LOVE this, Hedge!

    Only you can take something, pieces of a visual, and weave it together in such a layered poem. amazing where you site the visual and presto! You have such a lyrical poem in your hands.

    there are particular parts, even a few words, that deepen the contemplation of this poem: 'secondly sighted', there is a world in that! There are others, too, but the sum total of this poem is a delight to the eyes and to the heart.

    And tantalizes the mind....

    Lady Nyo

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love your view! The ending really grabbed me...
    "to the tan tundra's ten generations of night,
    where my numberless sisters
    dance with white wolves
    to buckle the worlds."

    Wow....
    powerful and so mythical :D
    Love it

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg