Erratic Facts (NEW)


Erratic Facts

Kay Ryan ☆ 3 read

K before but never to this "extent Ryan s a pretty private writer in a lot of ways yet this collection is "Ryan s a pretty private writer in a lot of ways yet this collection is personal especially near the end It s a powerful piece of carpentry that tries to carve something out of an impossible subject Highlights Fizz Fool s Errands Venice Almost Ryan s an original but as I was reading this I kept thinking about why I associate her often with Dickinson both write very succinct poems and have a strong penchant or assertive declarative sentences that can sound like homilies But really their similarities end right about there Dickinson is much dramatic I elt a uneral in my brain or Dare you see the soul at the white heat I can t imagine such drama rom "Ryan Ryan is decidedly much at a remove in her poems almost clinical "Ryan is decidedly much at a remove in her poems almost clinical her homilies much homely At her best she s very wise but understated at her worst she s wise guy than wise But all in all I really enjoy almost anything Ryan writes she s thinking deeply but not in an ostentatious theory meets poetry type of way that usually gets the lion s share of critical attention Who else can come up with a uiet profound little gem like the ollowing The First of Never by Kay RyanNever dawnsas thoughit were a dayand risesOur day sensesays a daycan be out waitedSo we waitThat s theonly kindof timewe ve ever knownit should begetting late she should begetting home Good stuff Now that I ve read it all once I m set to go through and read these poems over and over Maybe I ll memorize some I bet they ll be A treatise on the law of marital rights in Texas fun to recite to myself and supposedly it s goodor the old brain to get that kind of exercise Anyway Kay Ryan is great and I m glad I came across this on the eatured poetry shelf in the Worthington Public Library Kay Ryan is a poet like no other Her seemingly simple short poems are small mechanisms of grace and pith She makes me want to be a better poet Still StartAs if engineparts could bewrenched outat random andthe car wouldstill start andsound evenhearts can gowith chambersbroken open I just didn t connect with these poems shrugs I really wasn t a an of most of these poems but I like this oneAs if engine parts could be wrenched out at random and the car would still start and sound even hearts can go with chambers broken open I m on record as being a Lots of Hearts fan of minimalist poetry Just desserts here Kay Ryan is a minimalist s minimalist And she packs a Pulitzer to boot and as we all know THOSE boots are madeor walking Like Twiggy Ryan s poems are short thin affairs with lines typically expiring after two or three most our words Pithy Almost cute With a twist like certain drinks If you re thinking one trick pony I ain t saying a wordStill clever is as clever does I can share a ew poems that gave me some enjoyment of a sort Ready set here you goShip in a BottleIt seemsimpossible not just aship in abottle butwind and seaThe ship set here you goShip in a BottleIt seemsimpossible not just aship in abottle butwind and seaThe ship struggle anemergency of thetoo realized werealize We canget it out butnot withoutspilling its worldA hammer tapand they re Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss freeWhich deathwill it belittle sailorsYes going on than meets the eye which I suppose is KR s hallmark And lucky her no one even cares that her line breaks come on articles and conjunctions that are about as important as me En autreToken LossTo the dragonany loss istotal His restis disruptedif a singlejewel encrustedgoblet hasbeen stolenThe circle of himselfin the nestof his goldhas beenbroken Noloss is tokenWhat You want Musical ChairsOnly the one ismusical actuallythe others areordinary mostlyfrom the kitchenNot a peep ofmusic out of themas they are takenfrom rotation Mumchairs tunelessracks dumbsticksnext to theescalating operaticravishmentsof banishmentsung to the childrenby the one chairabsentAs you might imagine 63 pages of that goes uickly But Iound myself browsing in other books to break it up and I think Kay owes me thanks or that Her small work is better in small dose. T has characterized her singular voice over the course of than 20 years her mind is sharper than ever her imagination eccentric and daring Erratic Facts solidifies Ryan’s place at the pinnacle of American poetry and proves that she will remain among the leading innovators in literary histor. .
Evan's Gate Present Value: A Novel
Very She s won a "Pulitzer And Been The US "and been the US Laureate so there s really nowhere up to go rom there That s the nature of 21st Century American poetry I guess even the stars are obscure That makes the broad acknowledgement of Mary Oliver s death so startling most of us simply don t know our poetsRyan s poems are all short She works with a of us simply don t know our poetsRyan s poems are all short She works with a length well less than a breath and her work has a "zen koan uality to it She boils her insights down to "koan uality to it She boils her insights down to an essence that we ve swallowed them whole before we uite realize it There s a meditative uality in the work but there s also a lot of humor She s taking her ideas and her poetry seriously but she doesn t seem to be taking the idea of poetry too seriously Most of my avorites are the very irst ones Consider Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation for instance New Rooms The mind mustset itself upwherever it goesand it would bemost convenientto impose itsold rooms justtack them uplike an interior tent Oh butthe new holesaren t wherethe windows wentI love the brevity of this one but I love as well the way it lingers I think thateeling the sense that after a major change in my life or world I want to get back to a amiliar rhythm Instead as she says the new holes aren t where the windows went That tight slanted truth seems almost worthy of Emily Dickinson a truth that we recognize as truth only after she says it Another that prompted me to pick this up is On The Nature of Understanding Say you hoped totame somethingwild and stayedcalm and inched upday by day Or evennot tame it butmeet it half wayThings went alongYou made progressunderstandingit would be alengthy processsensing changesin your hair and nails So it sstrange when itattacks you thoughtyou had a dealThat too seems to capture a truth I d almost already known I have that sense of getting locked within myself in the midst of a new project a new attempt at understanding Just because I set myself the task of coming to understand a thing it doesn t mean that I will succeed Ryan reminds me that understanding has to be a conversation a dialogue and one of the great potential errors is to assume that which the other is sayingI can t help having read this in the context of another book I picked up at the MLA Lee McIntyre s Post Truth a study of the way we have reached a point of such contested sense about what it means or something to be true in Trump s America I see here a playful response to that uncertainty Read within the moment Ryan is showing how the mind pushes toward knowledge and then pulls away nearly as Bunco Babes Tell All fast The title poem isn t one of my particularavorites but its title suggests just that point we necessarily perceive the world with expectations but those expectations in their erratic application to the world as it is often lead us into errorShe gets at that same sound of one hand clapping insight with an excerpt rom Trench Like That The uestionis doesthe sea goexactly backafter a shippasses Isa trench likethat an eventor notThat image simply works or me I ve often wondered at the strangeness of doing a thing that leaves no trace something I did just yesterday when an hour of shoveling snow seemed to matter not at all to the additional half inch that had Bringing the Outside In fallen behind me as I worked Ieel Ryan posing a uestion and I eel compelled to answer it even as I know I can tOther avorites include Token Loss All Your Horses and Why Explain the Precise By Way of the Less Precise I m going to stick this one on the shelf and given the bite sized conundrums it offers so widely I expect I ll pull it down again every so often It s trite to compare Ryan s work to physical craft but it s still like little carvings with intricate details you don t always notice the irst time around These poems eel like she s completely mastered her style chock Close to Hugh full of inimitable internal rhymes and deployed it in the service of explicating loss a theme that s appeared in her wor. Playful and heartfelt Ryan examines enormous subjects existence consciousness love loss in compact poems that have immensely powerful resonance Sly rhymes and strong cadences lend remarkable musicality to her incisive wisdom While these pieces are composed of the same brevity and vitality tha. I like Ryan s haiku esue sensibility her poems are longer than haiku but she uses consistently short line lengths and internal rhymes to achieve a haiku s sense of breath brief transience structure andormal discipline If you haven "T Read Ryan Before You Might Wonder "read Ryan before you might wonder her use of the same ormal constraints again "and again gets boring over time but strangely it doesn t no than Basho s repeated use of the "again gets boring over time but strangely it doesn t no than Basho s repeated use of the 7 5 orm doesIn poems so short so exposed it
D Be Difficult To Hide 
be difficult to hide Toy to Toy (Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3) factudging any unearned pretension poems shaped like these seem almost constitutionally unable to hide a lie any than a clearly written mathematical proof can and this sets the terms Charity for an intensely honest meeting of minds between the writer and the reader Inact I read an interview with Ryan in Poets Writers magazine last year where she tells of how she discarded a seemingly perfectly good poem she wrote about trees when she realized she had gotten one of her acts about botany wrong you ve got to respect such rigorous idelity to an external standard But this anecdote also tells you something else about Ryan s poems how tightly wedded to a single Catch and Release: Trout Fishing and the Meaning of Life felicitous concept or idea each poem is such that the poem could be argued toall apart if the concept doesRyan writes poems about concepts drawn rom science say the chirality of molecules Imagine an inversion as simple as socks putting your hand into the toe of yourself and pulling or the mitosis of cells there s no sense that it hurts but why wouldn t it In which event an organism s asked to put out the burning tent and stay inside with a remarkable purity of attention there are no self conscious declarations here of the Look at me looking at things kind just the things themselvesBut Ryan also observes ordinary real world things with glorious precision down to the nanosecond the nanometer The irst trickleof water downa dry ditch stretcheslike the pawof a cat slightlytucked at the Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years with Down Syndrome frontRyan slows down mundane moments stretching them out like taffy delicately without letting them snap until they areilled with wonder again But her poetic gift also lets her do the reverse with seemingly eual acility that is speed up time as in Blast a poem about an explosion Thismust have happenedmany times beforewe must supposeAlmost a pulseif we could speedit upIt s a truly gifted mind that can see a pulse in an explosion that is see a pattern in what seems at irst to be an egregious once in a lifetime catastrophe just as clearly as it can see uniue happenings worthy of celebration or mourning in every recurrence of a Fashion Faux Paw freuent periodical event I think this is how Ryan earns the license to playast and loose with abstractions the way she does because in each generality she sees a particularity with color personality and emotional texture Even a pinset on amemory tablefalls throughA bare woodkitchen tablewith suare legskicked yellowand blue Pillars of Light frompainted chairspushed infor thirty years Given her short poems her work is something easily readable in aew days or lessAlong with Richard Wilbur I consider her the best American poet writing today The short pithy nature of the poems understate their immense intellect wit power and beauty A joy to read but I must admit I ound this book not up to what I enjoyed in her previous collections Her best work in my opinion were the poems in Say Uncle and The Niagara River I stumbled across this collection at the MLA and I picked it up because the irst several poems simply grabbed me I ve been challenging myself to read collections of poetry so that s something I sometimes do pick up a volume and see if it talks to me As a result I don t read any poetry that I don t already like a lot There s so much of it in the world that it seems silly to spend time on something that doesn t talk to youI d never heard of Kay Ryan but as it turns out I m hardly making some deep disco. Kay Ryan a classic American poet John Freeman is acclaimed Solibo Magnificent for her highly intelligible deeply insightful poems Erratic Facts is herirst new collection since the Pulitzer Prize winning The Best of It and it is animated with her signature swift lucid lyrical styleAt once witty and melancholy.