All Souls’ Night

At the BeanRunner, Andrew began his turn with his own definition of not understanding, an idea carried-over from a previous meeting with the theme Poems We Don’t Understand. Andrew did some fancy-footwork to segue from “Not Understand” to “Nervous.” And, he did it well!

From Andrew: Types of “Not Understanding:” All not understandings are perforce subjective. Understanding itself being a complex poetic term since much poetry attempts to bypass the overtly cerebral to capture nuance and subtle body of the spirit the ephemeral the peripheral the prehensile and prognostic. Poetry like a band of motley coyotes yips and howls in the wee…st of hours making itself seem large and more multifarious than it is.

Keep close watch over your pets for Poetry might abscond with a few and leave you in the unease and awe of the uncanny.

…Which leads us to poems that make us nervous.
Andrew then read:

This Living Hand

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry
Of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed – see here
it is –
I hold it towards you.

John Keats

Keats, again. Quite accidentally the poet known for keeping death a constant companion became the spokesman for the All Souls’ Night event. Perfect.

A lively discussion of “This Living Hand,” included thoughts on the horror movie quality of the poem and summed-up with the idea that the poet was holding out his poem, his living hand, and even after his death the poem will live. Yes, Keats.

The visual impact of the words, “…thine own heart dry of blood/so in my veins red life might stream again” came-up, too,…the power of those  images plunked right in the middle of pale cold of that poem. Life right inside of death.

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