Welcome to Week Six, or more correctly, Learning Event Six of the #WALKMYWORLD Project. As we pass the mid-way point of the project, we ask that you continue to create and share your images, video, and audio clips online to Twitter using the #WALKMYWORLD hashtag. We will also continue to examine the work of Robert Hass, and think deeply about his work.
To that end, the poem that we would like you to consider this week is The Seventh Night by Robert Hass. The full text of the poem is available here. We would much rather you view the text here on PoetryGenius. Please feel free to collaboratively annotate the text with your friends. The other Hass poems that we have been working with are available here on PoetryGenius.
You can see Robert read The Seventh Night here.
In thinking about, and responding to the poem, we were struck by the response he gave to Reynard from Houston in an interview when asked to comment on the “playfully outrageous dialogue” in The Seventh Night. Was it “purely nonsensical”?
It isn’t intentionally complicated, Reynard, or written in code, though perhaps the social background is intentionally sketchy, so that the figure of the woman in the poem can be a person or some muse figure conjured by the imagination. I don’t know if it will help, if I say that the social context I had in mind was the last day of something like a week-long gathering of poets (such as occur in the American summer). Hence the seventh day of creation or the beginning of de-creation. So what I imagined was a sort of volleying mix of metaphor competition and flirtatious conversation between two poet or poet-like figures. So when one of them greets the other–I’m not going to look at the poem for the exact lines–“Hello, moonshine,” the other responds back, “Hello, dreamer” and then they start to have a metaphor duel. The woman says who she is by saying, “My father is·” etc.
In your responses this week, please explore some, all, or none of these prompts:
What is Robert saying about the act of construction, and deconstruction?
Should we consider the social context when creating? How does this “translate” into the social contexts in which you exist?
In considering these aspects (construction, deconstruction, and the social context) how can you “write yourselves into a poem” and connect with others in the #WALKMYWORLD project?
Image CC by Scarriet