Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Same Inside

As part of my Ango commitment, I took a one-day workshop at ZCNYC with poet Miranda Field yesterday. (The link is to an interview with her about juggling her work and motherhood -it seems to capture her voice so well - and you can follow other links from there to her work.) The workshop was advertised as being for non-writers, which may not be totally accurate in my case but because I definitely don't consider myself a poet, I signed up.

What a treat to spend several hours only thinking about language and memories and how to communicate ideas through words on a page. The group was small so we had a lot of time to both write and listen. Before the workshop started, I did worry that this would be a touchy-feelie day of talking and writing about our innermost thoughts, and after a couple of years of observing my innermost thoughts I can safely say that they are best kept innermost. But not so. Miranda took a very intelligent approach to getting us to start writing that eliminated any possibility of too much high-faluting language. We worked with patterning and direct memories and had fun with remembering (mostly) playful details of our past and then moved on from there.

By the end of the day I felt quite awash in language but happily so. I also felt a new appreciation for poetry and the act of creating it with words. That might sound a little distant coming from someone who was attending a poetry writing workshop but one thing it did for me was reaffirm that my poetry, if I have any to share at all, will come through a visual language. As much I thoroughly enjoyed our day, and even as much as I thoroughly enjoy writing, I know it isn't what sings me to sleep at night. I think that it is best left to others.

On that note, here is one poem that Miranda shared with us that I found very, very beautiful. It is by Anna Swir, a Polish poet, taken from her book, Talking to My Body. Translated by Czeslaw Milosz.

The Same Inside

Walking to your place for a love feast
I saw on a street corner
an old beggar woman.

I took her hand,
kissed her delicate cheek,
we talked, she was
the same inside as I am,
from the same kind,
I sensed this instantly
as a dog knows by scent
another dog.

I gave her money,
I could not part from her.
After all, one needs
someone who is close.

And then I no longer knew
why I was walking to your place.


bluebird of paradise said...

Oh Robyn ;
I wanted to do that course. It sounded perfect.

Robyn said...

I wish you could have been there Marilee! I think you would have really enjoyed it, and especially Miranda. You are always welcome to stay here if you wanted to come to ZCNYC for a workshop...just a thought!!