Thursday, February 26, 2009
Brenda Hillman wrote a brilliant poem called"Cleave and Cleave" which examines these words that sound and can be spelled the same but have opposite meanings. I'd like you to think of two words that are homonyms but mean different things. , e.g. lie and lie, stone and stone, bear and bear, write and right. Here is a complete list.Think of an emotional situation in memory that these homonyms might speak to, then imagine yourself "encountering" each of these words separately, in concrete examples- e.g. you are writing your name on a blackboard as a child, over and over; the sun is spilling in the window, fading the slate as you write. you start to think about your "right" to be yourself, and you look at your self, the clothes you are wearing, your hands, etc...Then bring both words together at the poem's conclusion, like Hillman, who dramaticized the words' opposite meanings by ending with two strong sentences: You might say, e.g." I will write my name over and over on the glass." Then, "I will disappear: my right."This poem is taken from The Practice of Poetry by Behn and Twichell.