259th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 259th Virtual Poetry Circle!

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book 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.

Today’s poem is from Dawn Marie Kresan’s Muse:

Housebroken (page 18)

The Pet, Walter Deverall, 1852. Oil on Canvas.

She stands in a doorway, on the threshold
between home and garden, peers inside
a bird cage. It is no wonder pets love their captor —
well fed and doted upon, the canary is full of melody,
the dog lazily snuffles at your feet.
No cares gnawing at the bone.
All kindness and kisses. So you think.
Protection has its costs.
Birds flounder in sorrow. Wings clipped,
they feel for the hand reaching in as one feels toward
a punishing god. Yes, they are pampered, given teeny
treats, fed daily morsels until docile and blithely paunch.
The dog, taught to beg for affection, must always
please. If it disobeys, the hand that now lovingly
strokes the ear’s soft cushion, will strike
quick as lightening. Pain pulsing
through its skull, the high pitched yelps, its nose
rubbed into the mess it made.

What do you think?

Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan

Source: Tightrope Books
Paperback, 80 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan is a powerful poetry collection in which inspiration takes center stage as the narrator examines the relationship between the muse and an artist.  The collection begins with a biographical note about Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s muse, Elizabeth Siddal, who also became an artist herself after modeling for only one artist.  Kresan examines her role as Rossetti’s muse, an inspiration for a great many paintings, and how the artist must have seen her and how there is now a disconnect between the woman she was and the woman that patrons of the arts now see in those paintings.  She establishes the tone in the beginning with the poem “Found” when he gazes upon her beauty and is stunned, but the tone quickly devolves into something sadder with “Housebroken,” as the muse is compared to a dog and the trade-offs that are inherent when someone is dependent upon the good will of another.

From: "John Ruskin: The Patron" (page 21)

Your hair a canopy that blazes, feverish,
around the pallor of sunken cheeks.
He decides you have genius, and for this reason
must be saved, as one would save a beautiful tree
from being cut down.

Kresan has mastered the use of imagery in her poems; they convey so much in so few words.  The loss of a child and one’s sanity becomes palatable, like bile rising in the throat, threatening to burn the reader, providing just a taste of that loss.  Kresan’s collection is searing and emotional, but also contemplative.  It asks the questions: what do we give up to be artists?  what do our inspirations/muses (even spouses) give up to be with artists?  How does this relationship challenge us … change us?

From "Brides with Plots: A Three-Act Play" (page 37)

Each time he paints you, you die again.  His signature, a bold
slash, enacts your vanishing.  The role
of muse requires

many deaths. ...

In the final part of the collection, there are a series of conversations and interactions between Siddal and other famous women — women who were considered muses in their own right, though maybe not to artists. She speaks with Princess Diana, Sylvia Plath, and others. Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan is well paced for a poetry collection, evolving over and over, creating a more complex look at the relationship between muse and artist, muse and reader/viewer, and muse to oneself.

Book 18 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.



35th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #247

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  November’s host is Rose City Reader.

Just a note to say that a poll about the hosting issue will be posted on the Mailbox Monday blog.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich from my mother.

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

2. Tangle by Julie Cameron Gray from Tightrope Books for review.

Teetering on the brink of longing and the downtrodden, Julie Cameron Gray’s poetic debut explores isolation and the distance between human understanding and human experience. Her poems showcase the relationship between people and their work, urban living and the fringe existence of “wild” animals, the flaws that relationships tend to encompass despite best intentions, and the mysteries inanimate objects hold. Tangle is a verdict, a web of dysfunction, and an alibi.

3.  Muse by Dawn Marie Kresan from Tightrope Books for review.

Beginning with an epigraph by Robert Graves, which asserts that “woman is muse or she is nothing,” the poems in Muse explore the concepts of influence, creativity, and gender by evoking the tragic figure of Elizabeth Siddal. As a model, then pupil, she married the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and although an artist and poet in her own right, Siddal is best known as a Victorian muse and the inspiration for her husband’s paintings. In sensual and evocative language, Dawn Marie Kresan shifts voices and perspectives, from Siddal’s loss and heartbreak over her stillborn daughter to the poet’s lighthearted reproach of artist William Holman Hunt’s depiction of the Lady of Shalott.

What did you receive?