the hummingbird who
red to red,
juice to sweet juice.
But don’t stop there —
the border collie whose
tail loops the loop,
determined and obedient, hot
on the trail of a Frisbee
and consider the
who remembers God
in your big brown eyes,
when she isn’t dancing
consider the cliffs that
juice, loop, loose.
when you consider the
kaleidoscope, the puzzle, the
dance, les faux amis, the
warp & the woof.
David Leach: I loved how this poem was the only one that truly embraced its genre. It didn’t try to tell a story. It didn’t rely on characters or setting or other narrative conventions. Instead, it simply revelled in the joys of language and the hops of poetic logic between hummingbird, border collie, whirling dervish, cliffs. I can hear this poem being sung-or even imagine it being danced.
There is a meditative quality to the repeated “consider” that focuses our attention down to life’s essentials, just like a true poet does. I don’t know if I “got” the intended effect of this poem. But that didn’t really matter. I simply enjoyed the effervescent spirit of its word-drunk lines.
Julie Paul: This poem repeats the word “Consider” to full effect. (I wondered if the writer had read the essay Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle. Its first line is “Consider the hummingbird for a long moment.” It’s not a criticism if the writer has read it — I highly recommend this essay.)
The language in the poem is sensual, and there are some excellent, evocative images: the dog’s tail looping the loop, the bird flitting from red to red, juice to sweet juice, spinning dancer, the faux amis of warp and woof. Everything seems to refer to a pattern, loopy or repetitive, as referenced in the title.
The stanza that confused me was the cliff one; I’m not sure it fits with the rest of the poem, nor what “blurs juice, loop, loose” refers to. I wasn’t entirely sure about the ending, either; could the writer have elaborated just a little more about how the “me” relates to the title or the images within the poem?
Regardless, I found this to be the most accomplished, style-wise and enjoyed its white spaces as well as its effective line breaks.
Nikki Tate: I like the use of enjambment in this poem, as well as the way the writer has chosen to change the placement and emphasis of the repeated word (consider). The physical layout on the page is interesting, though I felt the single words (particularly “surely” and “often”) were not always strong enough to warrant lines of their own.
The poem could be interpreted in more than one way, but I read it to be a complex and many-faceted narrator asking the listener/reader (a lover? A parent? A friend?) not only to consider all aspects of the individual, but to celebrate the diverse qualities of the speaker. Within this interpretation, it wasn’t clear to whom the “your” referred in the whirling dervish stanza and in the cliffs stanza; the syntax is a bit confusing.
The sentiment (and several of the images — the border collie hot on the trail of a Frisbee, the cliffs veering close, flitting hummingbird, etc.) are intriguing but I felt overall the poem would benefit from some additional polishing.