Guest Poet Margaret Wilds


Well if it isn't the cliff
The clouds fought my mother off
One day from two years ago
A voice weaves in and out
Like a needle pulling a thread
Go west into the blackberry sea
Into the hand-knit sweater sea
So familiar, so soft from here
So near her

July, 1999

Margaret Wilds' Questions:

1.  Would someone please argue in favor of personal experience in poetry?  I keep hearing about the whining, selfish tone of poems, but I don't know where else to dig for my words; and I wonder,  does this poem cross the line into self-pity?  Please help me restructure my selfish tone if you hear it.

2.  What do you think of the punctuation in this poem?

3.  Do you think a poem must be titled?

Time Goes On and So Do You

On the radio Billie Holiday is singing
"Some Other Spring" and coincidentally
It is some other spring
The very day she'd be
82 and more blue
And more true than ever
Last night I heard
A bassman read minds
He read the piano player's
He read mine and
Oddly enough he played
Allen Ginsberg's death
Over his shoulder
A blue lit picture
Of Coltrane blowing
The night of Ginsberg's
Refusal to live
The eyes cast a warm
True light.  I knew
This would happen to me Ginsberg
Like a note from the grave
The best music I've heard
And you dying
And Billie singing
Coltrane watching
And your mother's eyes
And spring and the blue

July, 1999

Margaret Wilds' Questions:

1.  Too many words?

2.  Are the eyes clear?

3.  What do you think of the rhythm?

4.  What were you doing the night of Ginsberg's death?

The Albany Poetry Workshop