Read Mornings Like This: Found Poems by Annie Dillard Free Online
Book Title: Mornings Like This: Found Poems|
The author of the book: Annie Dillard
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.22 MB
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: April 26th 1996
ISBN 13: 9780060927257
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 7.1
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For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of found poetry:
A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet. -definition from poets.org
So you open any book, or a newspaper article, and find language you think is interesting, and “cut out” all the language that isn’t to you a poem, or you conversely take the words you like and make a poem out of them. My idea is that you don’t typically choose something already beautifully written—that in a way would be too easy—but find nuggets of beauty in something surprising. As if “This is just to say” by William Carlos Williams were actually a note of apology on a refrigerator and shaped into a poem by Williams. I know a poet who created a book of found poems out of a boring biography of WWII general. I guess the basic idea is that much poetry works with constraints, and the constraint of the found poem is that it has to be from a single source.
Annie Dillard is best known as an essayist (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek), but she was also a poet, and this is one of her collections of poetry. Of found poems, she writes in the intro:
“Happy poets who write found poetry go pawing through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps. They hold and wave aloft usable artifacts and fragments: jingles and ad copy, menus and broadcasts — all objet trouvés, the literary equivalents of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans and Duchamp’s bicycle. By entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles. The poet adds, or at any rate increases, the element of delight. This is an urban, youthful, ironic, cruising kind of poetry. It serves up whole texts, or interrupted fragments of texts.”
Not many of these are fantastic poems, any of them, but the idea is intriguing, yes? Dillard culls about 40 such happy accidents from sources as diverse as a The American Boys Handy Book (1882) and the letters of Van Gogh. My favorite one does sort of cheat in a way, in using the great language in these letters:
I Am Trying to Get at Something Utterly Heart-Broken
— V. VAN GOGH, LETTERS, 1873-1890, ED. I. STONE, TRANS. JOHANNA VAN GOGH
At the end of the road is a small cottage,
And over all the blue sky.
I am trying to get at something utterly heart-broken.
The flying birds, the smoking chimneys,
And that figure loitering below in the yard–
If we do not learn from this, then from what shall we learn?
The miners go home in the white snow at twilight
These people are quite black. Their houses are small.
The time for making dark studies is short.
A patch of brown heath through which a white
Path leads, and sky just delicately tinged,
Yet somewhat passionately brushed.
We who try our best to live, why do we not live more?
The branches of poplars and willows rigid like wire.
It may be true that there is no God here,
But there must be one not far off.
A studio with a cradle, a baby’s high chair.
Those colors which have no name
Are the real foundation of everything.
What I want is more beautiful huts far away on the heath.
If we are tired, isn’t it then because
We have already walked a long way?
The cart with the white horse brings
a wounded man home from the mines.
Bistre and bitumen, well applied,
Make the colouring ripe and mellow and generous.
A ploughed field with clods of violet earth;
Over all a yellow sky with a yellow sun.
So there is every moment something that moves one intensely.
A bluish-grey line of trees with a few roofs.
I simply could not restrain myself or keep
My hands off it or allow myself to rest.
A mother with her child, in the shadow
Of a large tree against the dune.
To say how many green-greys there are is impossible.
I love so much, so very much, the effect
Of yellow leaves against green trunks.
This is not a thing that I have sought,
But has come across my path and I have seized it.
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Read information about the authorAnnie Dillard (born April 30, 1945) is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir. Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.
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