Wednesday, September 28, 2005

journal entry #1

A Muse of Water by Carolyn Kizer

We who must act as handmaidens
To our own goddeess, turn too fast,
Trip on our hems, to glimpse the muse
Gliding below her lake or sea,
Are left, long-starring after her,
Narcissists by necessity;

...

Water itself is not enough.
Harness her turbulence to work
For man: fill his reflecting pools.
Drained for his cofferdams, or stored
In reservoirs for his personal use:
Turn switches! Let the fountains play!

...

Discover the deserted beach
where ghosts of curlews safely wade:
Here the warm shallows have your feet
Like tawny har of magdalens.
Here, if you care, and lie full-length,
Is water deep enough to drown.


There were so many poems to choose from that I simply chose this poem because it spoke of some sort of "muse" and I wanted to continue on with that kind of theme as a sort of extension to Thursday's piece of poetry discussed. For starters, this poet, Carolyn Kizer, appears to be a very strong feminist. It's almost humorous how much she talks degradingly of men's roles and more specifically - his role in a woman's life. I chose these three stanzas out of twelve (one from the beginning, middle and end) because it shows how Kizer, no matter what she's describing, always finds a way to link it back to water. Water is used as an analogy, metaphor, literary object as well as just simple description. I really liked, for the kinds of feelings portrayed, how she didn't overuse her exclamation points. There are two stanzas in particular in which the last line of every stanza has two exclamaintion points, both of which are found at the end of similar sentence/prose structures. The last stanza, especially the last line, seemed to put such a damper on the lightness of one's idea of water or of a muse. I do, however, find the gentler words mixed with the harsher, less abstract words to be effective and refreshing for a reader like myself (one who doesn't know what to expect). Ultimately, I was really inspired by how Kizer used her "muse of water" to portray what appeared to be deep feelings of inner feminist strength and cathartic womanly "venting".

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