Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Material and dream in Adrienne Rich and Seamus Heaney

Adrienne Rich's poem "Dreamwood", which is one of the works I recently memorized, describes how the surface of an old wooden "typing stand" can look like a "dream-map" in which "the material and the dream can join / and that is the poem". Today, I memorized Seamus Heaney's poem "The Rain Stick" (which was not hard, since I once wrote an obsessively detailed close reading of the poem) and noticed the same figure of the joining of matter and mind when you "upend the rain stick" to hear its singular sounds: "Who cares if all the music that transpires / Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?"  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 25 May 2021)


Seamus Heaney with a rain stick

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