Friday, July 17, 2009

James Shea - Star in the Eye

I thought it might be nice to post some recent poems from young(er) poets. Here is a poem from James Shea’s first book, Star in the Eye. It came out last year, but I just came across it recently (I miss a LOT of things!). I think he studied with Dean Young at Iowa, and I don’t think he sounds anything like what Hoagland says all these young male poets sound like (though the book won the Fence Modern Poets Series, selected by Nick Flynn). He has a very kōan sensibility that I admire. Here’s a fairly representative poem:

James Shea
The Sad Whole

He is composed of infinite acts.
Examine him from the outside
and you’ll see he doesn’t think.

He was a wild boar and inside
that boar he was a lilac bush.
These things alive within him.

He always moves and through
that moving he is always still.
And he contains and is composed

of the figure of a man himself.
You may feel at home with him
and breathe more fully now.

If we are of his gestures,
there is no one to forgive.


At 7/20/2009 11:49 AM, Blogger knott said...

thanks for posting this sonnet—

i always read the poems you post with interest (if not always with comprehension),

and appreciate you going to the effort—

it adds a lot to the continuing appeal of your blog—



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