Friday, February 26, 2010

The Bears in Yosemite Park

The issue of "evidence" that I have been posting about in my recent posts on Simon Armitage is one I began to identify while reading his first book, Zoom! (the subject of those posts). An issue I have been interested in for a long time that I first noticed elsewhere in Armitage's work (in Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid, to be precise) is that of the "moment" that becomes the focus of a poem. In "The Bears in Yosemite Park," from Zoom!, the moment that "lyric poetry" as such is interested in is described precisely:

this moment is one which will separate some part
of our lives from another

What Armitage adds to this theme in the Tyrannosaurus Rex book is a significant complication: such decisive moments may not actually change anything—and they may even change things for the worse.


mrjumbo said...

Joan Didion, ever the cheery one, starts "The Year of Magical Thinking":

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

Tough call, whether you'd rather have it change in a moment undreaded or whether you'd rather have a warn curtain give you a chance to steel yourself before the glacier crashes into the bay.

Andrew Shields said...

Re-reading this comment as tsunamis spread across the Pacific from Chile ...