The Poem, “The Wild Iris”

One of the things this project is about is describing my experience of other people’s poetry and art, an experience which often intensifies as I inhabit some text in order to combine it with my music. Experiencing a poem in that way enforces a deeper connection, for you have to understand, in at least one way, that the author embodied something with their art. That’s my project, but ordinary readers will often find a level of experience with poetry they read too.

Does poetry exist to instruct or guide our experience of life, or does our experience of life or living with a poem vivify silent lines on a page?

Does poetry exist to instruct or guide our experience of life, or does our experience of life or living with a poem vivify silent lines on a page? Isn’t it likely a bit of both? It’s not always the poem’s fault if it doesn’t leap off the page and integrate with our selves, but then sometimes else we do connect with the poem’s experience with our own experience. When that happens, a poem — well — opens from its closed position in a book.

Heidi Randen’s own photo of the wild iris, which opens

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Today’s piece finds me selecting for performance a part of a blog post by Heidi Randen where she describes such a bilateral interaction with a poem by Louise Glück, “The Wild Iris.”  Suffering, observing suffering, feeling loss, observing loss, are some of the matter here. This poem helps Randen, and the poem’s potential is fulfilled by her connection. I took the final lines from her blog post and performed them as a “found poem,” deciding to overlay some form on it and applying my reading of it with the music from The LYL Band in order to make my own comment on it and to bring them to you.

The Poem, “The Wild Iris”

The poem
”The Wild Iris”
that opens:
”At the end of my suffering there was a door.”
The poem
”The Wild Iris”
that opens.

There is a joy after fear.
A door opens.
There is a joy after fear.
The door opens
into a world of light
and beautiful colors,
and you can breathe again.

Here’s a link to the Glück poem, which may bring you understanding or solace, or just a shrug. Below you may see a player gadget to hear my performance of “The Poem, ‘The Wild Iris.”   However, some ways of reading this blog will not show the gadget, so here’s also a highlighted hyperlink that will open a new tab window to play the same LYL Band performance. The music today may be a little strange to some listeners since I wished to have unsettling elements mixed with reassuring ones. I also don’t  know how you will react to the repetitions that are most of the form I imposed on Randen’s words. They too are part of the focused noticing* I intended for this.

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*”Focused noticing” is a decent short definition of art, isn’t it.

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