Friday, March 8, 2013

Diane Di Prima and the Power of Poetry

Diane Di Prima, the poet herself

Out of all of the women Beat poets and writers we have read, I really enjoyed Diane Di Prima’s “The Window.” What I really enjoy about poetry and this particular poem is that it can have so many meanings. This poem and like all poetry is so ambiguous that it is really hard to pin point what the poet is trying to convey. To me, I read “The Window” as an expression of poetry and the effect it has on Di Prima. I know this sound far fetch but some of the metaphors in the stanzas scream poetry! In addition, from what we discuss she really thought about her art and the role as a poet. 

"You are almost the sea" Line 5-6

Looking at the first stanza, I see her description of poetry and the impact it has on her. She states: “You are my bread / and the hairline / noise/ of my bones / you are almost the sea” (line 1-6). I really did a formal analysis and looked at the choice of metaphors. I see bread as a metaphor for nourishment. “You are my bread” can mean that poetry is her nourishment; poetry fills her artistic and mental hunger.  The hairline was difficult to analyze and find meaning, but I do relate it to her mind. In other words, poetry embodies her mind and poetry comes from the creative brain.  The “noises of her bones” is symbolic to the excitement or movement of the bones; so, poetry excites her and physically emitted through her movements (maybe like the act of writing).   I also see the use of the sea in relation to power. Poetry is powerful like the tempestuous sea.

Di Prima's poetry book: This Kind of Bird Flies Backward
The second stanza is important because these are the key lines  (along with the first line of the third stanza) that persuaded me into thinking this poem was about poetry and the impact it has on her. Whatever she is addressing to in this poem is nor physical nor a humane. I deciphered this from her line “you are not stone” (line 7) and “you have no hands” (line 10).  As I mentioned before the first line of the third stanza also persuaded me into thinking this poem is about poetry: “ this kind of bird flies backward” (line 11). It is hard to decipher what this means, but I know this is the title of one of her poetry collections that she published. I like the fourth stanza because I think it is so beautifully written. I see this stanza speaking of poetry and that it is like the act speaking and through the images of shifting sands; poetry is endless and never changing.
Poetry is the window to the soul

The last three lines in the fifth stanza and the title of poem also justify that this poem is about the power of poetry and poetry itself. She says: “shine / and shine / unspent and underground” (line23-5). I see this as a metaphor that poetry is internalized and it is emitted from within. The title of the poem also relates to this. I see the window symbolic to see within, also as a if the window shows the power and love for poetry in the soul.