Thursday, 31 May 2012

Q & A: "midlife" and beyond

Anonymous has been asking about a poem of mine, "midlife." It's a brief poem, portrait of ambivalence, with the urge toward retirement-- contentment in retirement-- disturbed by or invigorated by desire and the outward surge.

As the youthful and the aged co-exist within one self, and the tension mounts between the urge to stay safe and the urge to go forth, resolution must occur within that one being. In the space of that particular poem, the motivation of desire is enough to carry the day, imagined as a young woman carrying an old woman out of the house, out of the yard, with plenty enough energy to both do whatever it is she is feeling called to do, and to warm and carry the conservative, reluctant aspects of self.

In later poems this "reluctant" aspect becomes a bar wench, rather than a serene elder-- spitting mad about the force of life and the urge toward communion, and called upon to act as an enforcer of solitude. So in some respects, the characters have shifted places, with the serenity aspect now speaking for communion and the vigorous aspect alarmed by and actively opposed to any such risk-taking activities.

But that is down the river a bit. Steepy Mountain love poetry is a collection of courtship year poems, in a re-ignited relationship, and "midlife" shows the moment of optimism, the decision to follow the heart.


Anonymous said...

thank you for your response, i will look forward in reading your other poems too!!

Anonymous said...

We're doing an analysis on your poem MidLife and we were wondering what is the emotion that you are trying to convey through the poem?

Joanne Arnott said...

Isn't that like asking a tree why it produced a specific leaf?

Whatever the poem succeeds in communicating, that's the right answer, Anon

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why there is no punctuation used in the poem.

Joanne Arnott said...

i looked down at my poem

finding crumbs on my lap
i swept them away