Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back to school?

The past few days have seen a flurry on Jeannine's blog regarding schools of poetry.

If we posit that there is indeed a New York School and a Deep Image School (or is that a movement?) and Surrealists and a School of Quietude, here are my own additions to the fray:

School of Shock
An abundance of images, and each image is more important than the poem as a whole.

School of Slam
Usually, less emphasis on images or metaphor, but heartily rhythmic, with attention to audience and momentum.

School of Unusual Punctuation
Marked by a use of brackets ([ ]).

I admit that, although I understand that its use may be perjorative, I have a hard time feeling bad about the phrase "School of Quietude." I think it's because of this old poem:

In the Season of Quiet

One night shy of a half, the moon hung near the top of the sky
and the last light brushed thin wisps of cloud
pink and coral, the color of salmon flesh,
the color of old roses braving October’s end.
The reflection bloomed on the flat gray face of the Skagit.
You found a cloud that looked like an arrow.
Or a plane, I said, then saw a coyote wagging its tail,
yapping at something out of sight.
Dark furrows creased a land
already canting toward winter and frost.
The fields spread out around harbors of alder and birch,
gilt leaves paled by the kneeling down of the day.
The coyote faded to lead.
Struck slow by so much space, I ached to breath it in,
suck the light through my skin, dig a fine garden.

"In the Season of Quiet" originally appeared in Arnazella.

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