Monday, February 04, 2008

poem as metaphor, another

As I said in an earlier post on the poem poem it usually occurs inside a longer poem. In Ishmael Reed’s “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” the section that seems most poem-as-metaphor would be this one:

do not resist this poem
this poem has yr eyes
this poem has his head
this poem has his arms
this poem has his fingers
this poem has his fingertips

this poem is the reader & the
reader this poem

In an earlier section the poem was eating the reader piece by piece (“it has drawn in yr feet … it has drawn in yr legs”), so I’m puzzled by the switch from “yr” to “his” – as you the reader are incorporated into this poem do you become someone else, a third person? Are you now only the eyes in “his” body? Who is this? The poem? The poet?

source: New and Collected Poems, 1988

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