I will be participating in a poetry reading at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Midtown Houston tomorrow night. —and although I selected specific poems to read from Variations— it took awhile to decide which themes best fit the environment—the book ranges from the secular to the profane at a unexpected pace, often leaping between the two extremes at a moment's notice, from faith to lust to devotion. With a respective awareness of the church itself, I do not want to charge the air with too much blue celebrations of the physical body.
but then, I remembered Sylvia Plath's short poem "Cut." Due to the slight ambiguity in her piece, I like using it for discussion in composition classes. Critics love discussing the persona's intentions (Was the act of cutting the head of the thumb intentional or accidental?) and mood (Is she genuinely thrilled with the sight of her own wound or is she simply nonplussed, slightly confused?) The tones for me always carried a sense of a flat, unemotional reaction, as in a sarcastic, almost bitter, fashion.
Which in fact was my mood yesterday, lugging cardboard boxes and antique furnishings from storage unit to garage. It is tiresome dealing with excess possession, material which over-extended the perimeters of the house.