Poetry Friday: The Poets Upstairs…

h1 April 25th, 2008 by eisha

Hey, I think it just moved. Did you see it?There are serious perks to having poets for upstairs neighbors. Like, they loan me books. And take me to readings by excellent authors. And invite us up to play Rock Band. And introduce me to hilariously surreal products on a cool new blog.

Also, I keep thinking someday I’m going to write something with the title “The Poets Upstairs” because I just like saying it. So it’s inspiring, too. For now, I get to use it as the title of this post, because one of them had a poem published recently in Goblin Fruit, and it’s so great I had to share it with you guys.

Goblin Fruit, in itself, is worth your attention. It’s a journal devoted to “poetry ‘of the fantastical,’ poetry that treats mythic, surreal, fantasy and folkloric themes, or approaches other themes in a fantastical way.” Really, really good stuff there. And the Spring 2008 issue includes, front and center, the very fairy-tale-ish “Nesting” by Dana Koster:

When you are born I will say: love me
as I loved my own mother — desperately,
as though love could stitch a path to the dead

and I will guard you with the greed of ancestry…

Read the rest here (you’ll have to click on the poem’s title). I love the whole concept of this poem – it feels like the beginning to a great story. The bird/egg imagery hints of the Leda myth. But the lines about the desperate love of a mother and the loss of a year for each question asked remind me of all those fairy tales (Thumbelina, Momotarō, the Gingerbread Man, etc.) that start off with a lonely woman who wants a child so very badly… and she gets it (or at least, something almost a child). But there’s always a catch, a price to pay, something lost in the bargain.

This is maybe the best perk yet from The Poets Upstairs. Hope you enjoy it too.

* * * edited to add: * * *

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Tricia of The Miss Rumphius Effect. Git along, lil’ dogies.

Also, because I think Dana would particularly appreciate it, check out this version of the Leda myth I accidentally stumbled upon. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, but when you click on the image links, you get photos featuring anatomically-correct ersatz-Barbie dolls posed as mythological characters. Ew.

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11 comments to “Poetry Friday: The Poets Upstairs…”

  1. How lucky you are to live downstairs from such a poet! That is one amazing poem. Thanks for sharing it with us!


  2. Oh my God, that mythological Barbie art is incredible. I want a print of “Nemesis” – she has a grass skirt and a spear and bare breasts and awkward doll joints. I want a print of her for my living room.

    And thank you for linking to my poem. I feel like a rockstar.


  3. That last verse, in particular, is powerful. More powerful than the cup of coffee I’m drinking now with mocha espresso sauce in it. That’s pretty powerful. I say you post more Dana poetry in the future.

    And how good to know about Goblin Fruit now. I’ve never seen Frequently Implied Questions before.


  4. Wow. The poem is lovely and disturbing — I love her shell-shaped ear. It’s SO COOL that you have poets upstairs. And that they let you play with them.

    Great illustration, too!


  5. Wait, where did he get these Barbies? Since when do they have such massive breasts? Nipples and all.


  6. Oh, Starling, Magpie, my Dove….

    swoon, swoon, swoon….


  7. Dana, I know, isn’t it just so wrong? I’m particularly into the ceramic swan mounting Leda Barbie from behind.

    And by “into,” I mean “deeply disturbed, yet oddly compelled by.”

    Jules, gimme some of that mocha sauce. Serious.

    Everyone else, glad you liked it too.


  8. Love Dana’s poem! I love the idea of cradling answers in a shell-shaped ear.

    I agree that “The Poets Upstairs” makes a very good title. It shall be your opus.


  9. Great poem. My favorite Leda poem is by Yeats, still. And “Goblin Fruit” is undoubtedly a reference to Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” a disturbing yet beautiful poem with a rather interesting subtext.


  10. Love the poem. Sacrifice in fairy tales is so disturbing, and yet weirdly compelling, almost like the tabloid stories of olden time.


  11. [...] help but notice that I was also reminded of Leda by Dana’s poem “Nesting,” featured back in April. Does this mean something? Do I have a Leda problem? Do I need to start watching out [...]


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