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Monday, May 06, 2013

Mining the Orr

Every once in awhile (more often if you're a diligent reader) you dig into a body of poetry you've always known was there, but not really looked at. You had no idea it held such riches. As I awoke today with a heavy sense of loss because of my dog's death, I saw an article about poet Gregory Orr, read some poems, and remembered why I urgently need to get one of his books. If only because he said this about poetry, which I am experiencing now:

Poetry is the thread that leads us out of the labyrinth of despair and into the light.”—Gregory Orr

Like James Wright, whose imagery evokes for me a mysterious divine presence, the few poems of Orr's I've been reading speak directly to my experience that everything holds a life force that can be felt and absorbed as beautiful and radiant. Even death and loss can.

This is what they say on all the articles about Gregory Orr (his publicist must have written it, it's much quoted): "Considered by many to be a master of short, lyric free verse ..." This one to me is about as short and masterful and wonderful as you can get.

Hold off, rain.
Of course, my garden
Craves water.
But the peonies
Are in full blossom.
If you fall now,
Their petals will
All be scattered.

Wait a day.
Let them feel
The pure joy
Of opening.

Fall tomorrow,
Then you can show
Them love
Is also a shattering.




Untitled [I know now the beloved]

  by Gregory Orr
I know now the beloved
Has no fixed abode,
That each body 
She inhabits
Is only a temporary
Home.
             That she
Casts off forms
As eagerly
As lovers shed clothes.

I accept that he's
Just passing through
That flower
Or that stone.

And yet, it makes 
Me dizzy—
The way he hides
In the flow of it,
The way she shifts
In fluid motions,
Becoming other things.

I want to stop him— 
If only briefly.
I want to lure her
To the surface
And catch her
In this net of words.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23050#sthash.M2uRCUpB.dpuf

Untitled [I know now the beloved]

  by Gregory Orr
I know now the beloved
Has no fixed abode,
That each body 
She inhabits
Is only a temporary
Home.
             That she
Casts off forms
As eagerly
As lovers shed clothes.

I accept that he's
Just passing through
That flower
Or that stone.

And yet, it makes 
Me dizzy—
The way he hides
In the flow of it,
The way she shifts
In fluid motions,
Becoming other things.

I want to stop him— 
If only briefly.
I want to lure her
To the surface
And catch her
In this net of words.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23050#sthash.M2uRCUpB.dpuf

Untitled [I know now the beloved]

  by Gregory Orr
I know now the beloved
Has no fixed abode,
That each body 
She inhabits
Is only a temporary
Home.
             That she
Casts off forms
As eagerly
As lovers shed clothes.

I accept that he's
Just passing through
That flower
Or that stone.

And yet, it makes 
Me dizzy—
The way he hides
In the flow of it,
The way she shifts
In fluid motions,
Becoming other things.

I want to stop him— 
If only briefly.
I want to lure her
To the surface
And catch her
In this net of words.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23050#sthash.M2uRCUpB.dpuf

Untitled [I know now the beloved]

  by Gregory Orr
I know now the beloved
Has no fixed abode,
That each body 
She inhabits
Is only a temporary
Home.
             That she
Casts off forms
As eagerly
As lovers shed clothes.

I accept that he's
Just passing through
That flower
Or that stone.

And yet, it makes 
Me dizzy—
The way he hides
In the flow of it,
The way she shifts
In fluid motions,
Becoming other things.

I want to stop him— 
If only briefly.
I want to lure her
To the surface
And catch her
In this net of words.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23050#sthash.M2uRCUpB.dpuf