And talk about poetry we will, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ada Limon, Ross Gay, and Emily Dickinson. She started it, really: she said “Nobody knows this little rose.” Now we know Nobody: Odysseus’ cunning way to describe himself when he escapes the Cyclops, Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, and Emily Dickinson’s anthem poem, I’m Nobody, a startling messing with our minds, since you can’t say you’re nobody, to say, I am, is to be somebody, and then to say you’re nobody is to completely undercut that in existential shenanigans. You can’t say you are not. Except, you can.
Bees, why bees, Dr. B? You’ve given us shows of moles and bats and hats and coots, roosters, birds, foxes, bears, butterflies, and even worms! How low can you go? You’ve had us walking, on our knees, falling from the sky and down stairs, lying in a hammock, slowed down to and swinging with revelation.What can be said about the plain old butter-knife bee? We’re into lyric, epic, ode, the quirky manic Bernstein, Stern, Williams, and Gregg, remember? I know you are!
“Today when persimmons ripen,” as Jane Hirshfield begins us, we’re slowing down—you know you move too fast—in this slowed time of year, where trees are strutting their structural moxie, revealed when their leaves take flight, sing the song of gravity, and reveal the gold orange and red and yellow reality in them all along, a way that poetry slows us down to express the fall foliage colors, the way a poem can turn us into what we have been all along—as Rumi puts this idea, “lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”