Thursday, August 04, 2016

Gwion Bach Hazih

Comment by gwionb on Guardian Poem of the Week nearly 500, 1-7 August 2016, You, Lizard-like, by Lynne Hjelngaard.


There's no way to know if the narrator's addressing someone or something other than their own countenance, figure, form, aspect, kind, or species.

You, a lizard-like anonymous genderless being the anonymous genderless narrator is addressing.

A very abstract poem that supports any projection and reading. The traits of a solitary squamatean being enunciated could equally refer to a specific being, history and/or relationship between two real people the poet is drawing into free verse from experience, or to an aspect of the Muse itself.

A 'mirror to the creative self', as Carol uniquely puts it in the 'wilful literary vandalism' of her exegesis week no nerly 500.

My first thought was a narrator addressing a break-up, or unhappy relationship. Until peering closer and seeing how cleverly the words are spun into this object wholly spirit. I saw a recording of the poet reading live and she reminds me of another American poet who writes finely wrought verbal threads of fragile gossamer power one can easily overlook and took me a second listen of the recording I'd made of her reading at the House of the Dead on Ushers Quay to appreciate it for the high-talk of an angelic voice well-versed in the noble art of spoken song superlatively spun upon the page of our visual eye and otherworldly aural ear inward within where the 'there' of all poetry at this level is silently heard.

Jane Hirshfield.

I'd not been long writing, April 2009, eight years at it, and still a student of The Handbook of the Learned and poet's primer Auraicept na n-éces, with at least four more years to make as many mistakes as one could wish without feeling silly or uncouth in front of any poetry professors of the contemporary commons practicing the art of letters and accent, dialect, and various different languages one finds to communicate with on a structured curriculum and twelve year course of bardic learning our poetry professors in the ollúna teach their charges.

When I heard Hirshfield reading in the busy room at full capacity, simultaneously recording it, as unobtrusively as one could, and aware that because at that time the etiquette around recording live poetry readings was still 'up for grabs', some people wudda felt as if their soul were being stolen and others could not care less, and not knowing if what i was doing was some kind of unforgivable act of the total w***** in the mind/s of those I recorded - i cudnt chillax 'n listen with the due care and attention the werk demanded.

The craven crass half of me at the time of the live reading was half-thinking what i wuz 'earin wuzza loada sh**e pal', as 'we' werking-klaws fowkza Kirkby 'n Ormskirk oft opine in matters such as pooatreh raidings, but oim gled one ad recorded and listened back to the reading because it was only in the silence and solitude of one's own study one heard its true register 'n pure vatic spirit.
I think this can be similarly judged.

The words are uniquely arranged in the most poetic and unusual order possible. In ways tharra lay reader will not be conscious of but the keener eye, all those regular ones here, for example, will be aware of, at various levels of articulacy and cognizance.

expert at loss, loyal to none .. two short declarative statements in a minimum of words, arranged unusually, to punch meaning largely into the mind of a Reader. And it continues all the way through the poem. The essential poetic brevity and method at the core of the poem spelled out as we learn: claws / digging quickly in, out. You disappear.
There's no messin abow 'ere innih?

An expert at what she does, in this poem, 'n wunza yuge nu-fan. & tho sumwun as expert in language and lingo as this week's poet number nearly five hundred can no doubt handle uz loh 'ere, tiz anly joost 'n faer she dunt cum 'ere ''n geh plooted by us comn az dertz wittalaery loutz 'n tha, innih?
Loving two supreme folds and divisions above us as the one sovereign human being doin shilly voices ov werk dahling, wivva birra iarm-berla, the unaccented words, 'the speech Iar Mac Nema discovered last, and it is not possible to analyse it', because of its cryptic iron-like hardness.
Practised from bardic grade five Clí/ridgepole on.

Kevin Desmond Swords