Friday, August 10, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Poet to Know--Heather McHugh

Ok, so you probably already know Heather McHugh. If you don't, though, don't feel bad. Neither did I until a few years ago. Ok, so I knew nothing about poetry until a few years ago. But that is neither here nor there.

Last week, I wrote about Elise Paschen and shared some of her amazing work. I came across a poem by Heather McHugh that I really liked, and I thought, "I should do the same thing for her." So now, I bring you "Glass House:"

Glass House

by Heather McHugh

Everything obeyed our laws and
we just went on self-improving
till a window gave us pause and
there the outside world was, moving.

Five apartment blocks swept by,
the trees and ironwork and headstones
of the next town's cemetery.
Auto lots. Golf courses. Rest homes.
Blue-green fields and perishable vistas
wars had underscored in red
were sweeping past

Read the rest of the poem here. Gosh, how I love a poem with a good ending. Make sure you click through, it's totally worth it. And I just love the word "nonplussed." I think I will start using it more.

If you thought that was good, wait until you read "Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun:"

Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun

by Heather McHugh

A book is a suicide postponed.
Too volatile, am I?  too voluble?  too much a word-person?
I blame the soup:  I'm a primordially
stirred person.

Two pronouns and a vehicle was Icarus with wings.
The apparatus of his selves made an ab-
surd person.

The sound I make is sympathy's:  sad dogs are tied afar.
But howling I become an ever more un-
heard person.

I need a hundred more of you to make a likelihood.
The mirror's not convincing-- that at-best in-
ferred person.

Check out the rest of this poem here. If you're not familiar with the ghazal poetic form (I wasn't until...well, you know), click here. And that one's ending might have been better than "Glass House's," don't you think? "McHugh, you'll be the death of me." The poet talking to herself (or her offspring???). Nice move, McHugh. Halfway to the third person" (a.k.a. the second person) is really, really smart (for lack of a better word), too. Wow! Love those poems.

Here are 2 more you'll like:
Heck, she's so good, just go to the Poetry Foundation and read all that she has there!

This week's Poetry Friday is hosted by Violet Nesdody HERE. Be sure to check it out.

Photo source:

1 comment:

  1. Sure enjoyed that "Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun." Enjoy your enthusiasm too. I love it, like you seem to, when I find a new poet to explore. Reminds me of a poem by Linda Pastan called (what else)

    A New Poet

    Finding a new poet
    is like finding a new wildflower
    out in the woods. You don't see

    its name in the flower books, and
    nobody you tell believes
    in its odd color or the way

    its leaves grow in splayed rows
    down the whole length of the page. In fact
    the very page smells of spilled

    red wine and the mustiness of the sea ..."

    and here's the rest.