Sunday, February 05, 2012

Two Poems on Silence (Kay Ryan Week™, Day 5)

Yes, I've reached the point where I'm cheating: having begun Kay Ryan Week™ because I couldn't decide on one poem to post, and so thought I'd make up an excuse to post seven, now I'm doing two in a single day. What can I say? She rocks. And I'm running out of days in my week.
Sharks' Teeth

Everything contains some
silence. Noise gets
its zest from the
small shark's-tooth
shaped fragments
of rest angled
in it. An hour
of city holds maybe
a minute of these
remnants of a time
when silence reigned,
compact and dangerous
as a shark. Sometimes
a bit of a tail
or fin can still
be sensed in parks.

-- Kay Ryan
And then another, with another biological metaphor...

Silence is not snow,
It cannot grow
deeper. A thousand years
of it are thinner
than paper. So
we must have it
all wrong
when we feel trapped
like mastodons.

-- Kay Ryan (from The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, p. 125)
Having now gotten a hold of The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (from the library), my chief complaint about it is that it's new and selected and not collected: it feels too thin, the contents too brief. I just want to buy her oeuvre and not have to bother with lots of different volumes.

Check back for more Kay Ryan Weeky goodness tomorrow...

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