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188th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 188th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2013 Dive Into Poetry Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Harryette Mullen:

All She Wrote

Forgive me, I’m no good at this. I can’t write back. I never read your letter. 
I can’t say I got your note. I haven’t had the strength to open the envelope. 
The mail stacks up by the door. Your hand’s illegible. Your postcards were 
defaced. Wash your wet hair? Any document you meant to send has yet to 
reach me. The untied parcel service never delivered. I regret to say I’m
unable to reply to your unexpressed desires. I didn’t get the book you sent. 
By the way, my computer was stolen. Now I’m unable to process words. I 
suffer from aphasia. I’ve just returned from Kenya and Korea. Didn’t you
get a card from me yet? What can I tell you? I forgot what I was going to 
say. I still can’t find a pen that works and then I broke my pencil. You know 
how scarce paper is these days. I admit I haven’t been recycling. I never 
have time to read the Times. I’m out of shopping bags to put the old news 
in. I didn’t get to the market. I meant to clip the coupons. I haven’t read 
the mail yet. I can’t get out the door to work, so I called in sick. I went to 
bed with writer’s cramp. If I couldn’t get back to writing, I thought I’d catch 
up on my reading. Then Oprah came on with a fabulous author plugging
her best selling book.

What are your thoughts?

  • I’m not a fan of this poem since it just seems to ramble and doesn’t have that poetic flow. I do identify with those writers that find themselves distracted by everything and unable to write, though. Lol

  • I agree with Jeanne, this poem is riddled with repetition but what I didn’t get was the package delivery imagery. What did that have to do with the speaker’s distraction? Was it another excuse not to respond/write? I liked the layout and the last line.

    • To me, it seems to be a poem that expresses a great deal without saying much in terms of procrastination and feelings left unexpressed or unable to be expressed. It’s interesting, but convoluted at the same time.

  • This reminds me of one of those old rhetorical exercises in saying the same thing a bunch of different ways. My favorite one is that she’s unable to process words.

    • “Forgive me, I’m no good at this. I can’t write back. I never read your letter.
      I can’t say I got your note. I haven’t had the strength to open the envelope.
      The mail stacks up by the door. Your hand’s illegible. Your postcards were
      defaced. ” — this is my favorite section and it comes at the beginning. I really like the excuses that start to come out as to reasons why she has responded to the letter…it makes you think there is something she’s hiding about why she’s not responding.

  • Ali

    Love the Dive Into Poetry Challenge, I’ll definitely participate in that! I just bought a book of poetry by one of my favorite authors.

    As for this poem…I’m not sure I get it. Maybe it’s the way it’s laid out? It seems kind of disjointed. As soon as I start thinking I got the humor she was going for, she switches gears and I end up thinking I had it wrong. So, not my favorite, I guess.

    • I agree there is a bit of disjointedness here. I think it works well in some parts of the poem better than others. I had to read it a couple of times to see her humor and to really enjoy the poem.