I’ve been thinking a lot about Galway Kinnell’s lovely, lovely poem, “BlackBerry Eating”:
I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry-eating in late September.
This has long been a favorite of mine. I love those “many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,” love “squeeze,” and “squinch,” and “splurge.”
This poem has been on my mind as I’ve been playing with the Arun, surprising myself by finding big, squeezable words that fit in one syllable, and greedy ones that seem to take a syllable for every letter. The poems themselves have been equally unwieldy, refusing to fit tidily into the space I’ve made for them. But I continue, keep looking to learn this black art.
Today was Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day. I’m still in the hospital, but I came prepared: An envelope full of poems ready to be distributed. And distribute I have. I think most people around this ward have assumed I’m nuts, but they’ve still taken their poem. I definitely consider the day a success!
and around me.
Some carve new ideas,
I enter here,
calm from chaos,
plumbing the darkness.
An Arun: a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one (1/2/3/4/5 — 3x).