Here’s looking at you, kid.
I just picked up a copy of Through the Forest by David Wagoner, and I encountered this poem for the first time. He’s a fine observer of nature, and this one strikes me more than his other poems by its embodiment of the caterpillar’s experience, rather than reportage from the perspective of a human being encountering nature. You might say this is “deep pastoral” in that the human experience becomes one with what it absorbs? These are just first thoughts. It’s a beatiful poem that I’m sure to read again and again.
Check out these two beautiful lyrics by John Foy. I especially admire the first, for its clean, precise diction–not a word wasted–and the uncomplicated way he complicates otherwise complacent phrases. What does it mean to want the world for someone, given the lamentable state of the world? Foy answers this, though he admits that what we want never makes much of a difference in the way things turn out.
I’m still exploring this issue, but another standout for me has been Richard Hornby’s review of a performance of You Can’t Take it with You, which includes a brief but interesting history of the sitcom. It’s a must-read.
I love the kinetic syntax of this poem. The language races through the line breaks and rhymes like the pickup truck that darkness drives “into the hills and hollers”, and soars like a flicked cigarette. I love the detail of “gunshots hit the town’s Masonic club,” all the more because it remains a bit mysterious to me, something to puzzle over.
There’s tons else to love in this issue of AAQ, too. If you don’t already subscribe to the print edition, you should–it’s free, and beautifully produced.