Saturday, December 6

you are not made of metaphors

this poet came to perform this week, at my little university in this little Indiana town. 

...okay, neither the town nor the university is all that little.

Sarah Kay, famous for these poems, that TED talk.

I keep thinking about this poem, "The Type." wondering who I am.

last Tuesday, in a long, narrow chair-filled faculty lounge at the Purdue Memorial Union, she performed several pieces, some from her new book, some moving and poignant, some sappy and silly, some in between. it was very fun.

we were discouraged from making recordings ourselves, but you, if you were not there (or if you were), can, thanks to this internet wonderland, find and watch recordings of some of the same poems performed at other venues, at other times.

a story full of time-skips, summers, expanse

"No Matter the Wreckage"
which made me wonder about men as ships and women as sailors, so seeming backwards.

"Private Parts"
as I doodled all over this bit of scrap paper (black ink courtesy my own pen, pink courtesy a pen borrowed from the nice fellow-who-accompanied-me-to-this-poetry-performance) I made notes on idea from this poem: "corners sanded away, the parts that once only fit one person."

now that I'm blogging about it, I had to look up the real bit of poetry I was trying to capture at the corner of this doodling. it's more specific. it's more evocative. it's real and if you listen, you'll hear the line, just there:
and the years have spread us like dandelion seeds, sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other.
I of course want to take the idea of that--the kernel of memory of touch and meeting and change--and run with it through a lot of stretching, complicated thought-work. will identities always be settling, smoothing? what does this mean for eternity, for unity? does who we are ever stop losing uniqueness? will this time, these years, ultimately lead to inevitable mass conformity? does it ever work backwards? can we hope for getting sanded into less-smooth, less-conforming, more-particular pieces? why or why not?


these poems I've linked weren't all, of course.

the piece about South Africa was very sad.

the one she said she'd never performed before--"Dragons"--was intense.

of course that toothpaste + bicycle tire love letter made us laugh.

I have work to do, other than poetry and other than blogging. but I keep thinking.


being sanded.


Elsie Boyer said...

I adore Sarah Kay. Mostly because of her TED talk but it comes back to me all the time. I'm incredibly jealous that you got to hear her in person. Thanks for sharing!

amelia chesley said...

she was very lovely. I couldn't stay for her signing/reception after the performance, but I'm sure she would've been so nice to say hello to.