Concerning the Meaning Molecule in Poetry

June 15, 2019   •   By Brenda Hillman

This piece appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal: The Occult, No. 22 


To receive the LARB Quarterly Journal, become a member or purchase at our bookstore.


¤


 


Concerning the Meaning Molecule in Poetry


Long ago a man told me, If you write poetry

            keep your subjects small;


i was a tiny skinny girl at that point …


Much later, i heard a meaning molecule

in the call of a dove pretending to be an owl in the pine,


a song-speck circling in a thought throughout all time

            (like the man said, extremely small!)


traveling from before literature

through the blue centuries until quite recently


when a radiant instance of the unknown


           paused our bafflement but kept

that little meaning absolutely elusive, & erotic …


                                    for AC & NS


 


¤


Brenda Hillman is the author of 10 collections of poetry. The most recent is Extra Hidden Life, Among the Days.