Today’s poet is Ms. Kelly Cherry.
Kelly Cherry (born December 21, 1940) is an award-winning novelist, poet, essayist, and a former Poet Laureate of Virginia (2010–2012). A resident of Halifax, Virginia, she was named the state’s Poet Laureate by Governor Bob McDonnell in July 2010. She succeeded Claudia Emerson in this post (Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2008–2010).
Award-winning poet and novelist Kelly Cherry is concerned with philosophy; with, as she explains it, “the becoming-aware of abstraction in real life–since, in order to abstract, you must have something to abstract from.” Within her novels, the abstract notions of morality become her focus: “My novels deal with moral dilemmas and the shapes they create as they reveal themselves in time,” she once told CA. “My poems seek out the most suitable temporal or kinetic structure for a given emotion.” Writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1983 on Cherry’s fiction, Mark Harris concluded that “she manages to capture, in very readable stories, the indecisiveness and mute desperation of life in the twentieth century.”
From the beginning of her career, Cherry has written both formal verse and free verse. According to the citation preceding her receipt of the James G. Hanes Poetry Prize by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1989, “Her poetry is marked by a firm intellectual passion, a reverent desire to possess the genuine thought of our century, historical, philosophical, and scientific, and a species of powerful ironic wit which is allied to rare good humor.” Reviewing Relativity, Patricia Goedicke noted in Three Rivers Poetry Journal that “her familiarity with the demands and pressures of traditional patterns has resulted…in an expansion and deepening of her poetic resources, a carefully textured over- and underlay of image, meaning and diction.” Mark Harris felt that Cherry’s “ability to sustain a narrative by clustering and repeating images [lends] itself to longer forms, and ‘A Bird’s Eye View of Einstein,’ the longest poem in [Relativity], is an example of Cherry at her poetic best.”
Please enjoy this poem of her’s which you can really see and feel.. makes you want to reach out and touch someone or yourself. Enjoy.
F. M. Laster
“I’ve been things and seen places.”- Mae West
The Raiment We Put On
by Kelly Cherry
Do you remember? We were in a room
With walls as warm as anybody’s breath,
And music wove us on its patterning loom,
The complicated loom of life and death.
Your hands moved over my face like small clouds.
(Rain fell into a river and sank, somewhere.)
I moved among your fingers, brushed by the small crowds
Of them, feeling myself known, everywhere,
And in that desperate country so far from here,
I heard you say my name over and over,
Your voice threading its way into my ear.
I will spend my days working to discover
The pattern and its meaning, what you meant,
What has been raveled and what has been rent.