Another short Prynne collection (I bought a set). Should probably stop blogging about them.
I can identify a few themes, and I guess that there is something of a ‘lullaby’ to that. The word, its root the imitation of “la la la”, is never used, I think. It reads a bit like a “I did this I did that” poem by someone housebound.
The sensation is of a heartfelt dedication to someone else, absent, not least due to lines like “the clouds I care for, reminded me of you”.
At first I was appalled with the collection, as it did seem trivial, not even nonsense. But I stuck with it, and was rewarded by the sense of the author pausing for a moment, as if too cross to keep on.
It is formally interesting. Though I didn’t unpack every quatrain (the poem is composed of a series of them, each preceded by a colon), I suspect that is achievable, and I was often looking up words, which was uniformly interesting despite not really revealing anything hidden from sight (nothing new).
Ultimately I found the collection quite joyful, rather than say satisfying or cathartic; perhaps a good thing. It seems allusive, both to poets and his own previous work (if that’s reasonable)
The following stanza made it for me, partly due to the loveliness of its start, partly due to the obvious yet smart figure of a hot room with hot water (the last word in the series is ‘wet’, though that probably shows nothing), and then the shift followed by rhyming ‘apace’ (a strange word from French a pas: step by step, slowly; quickly; and ultimately from the latin for spread and dried: it took my head off!)
no orchids no sundew yet all simmer mild
at angle blandish, damp course replace
to align the ensemble now so even clear
before the window pane, drones apace
Which is all fairly self explanatory if you ignore ‘drone’: a kettle?