By Roger Housden
In his assortment Risking Everything, Housden addressed love's many facets. Now, in Dancing with Joy, he assembles ninety nine poems from sixty nine poets that remember the various shades of pleasure. something could be a catalyst for pleasure, those poems show. For Wislawa Szymborska, the catalyst is a dream; for Robert Bly, being within the corporation of his ten-year-old son; for Gerald Stern, it's a grapefruit at breakfast; for Billy Collins, a cigarette. Dancing with Joy comprises English and Italian classical and romantic works; early chinese language and Persian verse; and poets from Chile, France, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and India, plus more than a few modern American and English poets.Whether proposal is what you wish, or an confirmation of what's already cheerful in existence, Dancing with Joy is a welcome deal with for Housden's a number of lovers, in addition to an individual trying to find sheer happiness, marvelously expressed.From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems
Some of the suffering are: a child did not had dinner last night: a child steal because he did not have money to buy it: to hear a mother say she do not have money to buy food for her children and to see a child without cloth it will make tears in your eyes. (2002, 76, italics in original) As she moves toward acknowledging the paradox of needing a language taught by oppressors, the poet recognizes several truths during the course of the poem. She realizes that indigenous forms of language “that breathed once / in signals of smoke / sweep of the wind” can be more eloquent than "Catch if you can your country's moment": Recovery and Regeneration in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich 33 a language “dumped” by invaders (2002, 76); that nonstandard written language can be powerfully expressive (“to see a child without cloth it will make tears in your eyes”); that experience is, finally, unrepresentable in narrative—“there are books that describe all this / and they are useless” (2002, 77); and that the burning of children is more worthy of protest and counteraction than the burning of books, with which the poem began.
Geoffrey Hill 2” in The Force of Poetry, 326. 19 Rich has a long history with Dante. The epigraph to Of Woman Born is from the Inferno. 20 Intriguingly, a poem written almost contemporaneously with Rich’s by a very different poet of the same generation, Geoffrey Hill, also engages with the Commedia’s notion of a poet-guide and the contemporary problematics of that notion. ” Both poets, at the turn of the millennium, use the first person singular pronoun in their struggles with the awkward relationships of self to self and self to other.
Rich imagines what it would look like to have “a” poetry that did not rely on “words / stretched like a skin over meanings” or on the obverse, “blank spaces,” but rather on something analogous to the articulate silence that succeeds the intimacy of all-night conversation between two people. Rich suggests here that the words that make poems are often contrived, mere coverings (“stretched like a skin”) overlaid on meaning, and that the blank spaces that alternate with words in many poems—in Rich’s poetry more than in that of some others, in fact—do not always communicate a meaningful silence.