Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Wilderness" on the Subway

Another new poem in the Poetry in Motion series on the New York City MTA.


You are the man
You are my other country
and I find it hard going

You are the prickly pear
You are the sudden violent storm

the torrent to raise the river
to float the wounded doe

--Lorine Niedecker

More of Lorine Niedecker's poetry here.

Let me tell you, I visibly copied this down on the train, entering into my Blackberry. At least one person noticed what I was doing, and I saw her looking up and reading what had so captivated me. That to me was as exciting as seeing the new poem up in the train.

Anyone who takes mass transit in a city with a Poetry in Motion program (see here), do your part. Make a point of copying down the poem you may see in your travels. Just jot it down, but do so in such a way that other people notice you are copying down something from the train. Not only will you be recording the poem for yourself, further expanding your knowledge of poetry, but at least one person may take interest in what you're doing, and read what it is that you're transcribing. People are so inundated by advertising, that they often fail to notice the subtlety of a poem appearing where none had been before.

See the poster here.


bonnie said...

I like that idea.

There was one a couple of years ago about blackberries that I really loved, and now I can't remember a thing about it except that it was about blackberries, and I loved it.

Dreaming on a Moonbeam said...

I just checked out the link to other cities, Martha Ronk is currently one of the poets on LA mass transit...(wait, was that an oxymoron?)

Anonymous said...

I did the exact same thing when I saw this poem. It took me right in when I saw the first line. Great poem and I can't thank this site enough for allowing me to find it. It's been haunting me now for 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Like Anonymous "I can't thank this site enough for allowing me to find this poem." It is a beautiful poem and I go back and forth about whether is is an analogy of how a man is like the wilderness, or visa versa. Is she comparing her lover to nature or saying that nature, the wild, is the only man she needs?

danger mouse said...

i memorized it on the train yesterday (or thought i had) thank goodness i was on the same train today. i have since put paper and pen in my bag, but the people near me knew i was reciting it from the ad.

analysis bit: i think it's someone who does not want to depend on anyone else "... you are my other country / and i find it hard going..."

dont know but i LOVE this poem. i will be looking up more of Lorine Niedecker's poetry. thanks to those who put this up.