Poems: Day Three - 'As a Portent' by David Baker

Ugh. Now we're into the sort of poetry that leaves me frustrated with myself, for not feeling like I get it at all, and maybe like I should break up with words altogether because our relationship isn't working out. 

Today's poem is 'As a Portent' by David Baker, 1954. (I assumed the 1954 was there to differentiate this David Baker from another David Baker poet, although maybe it's just for fun, because a Google search only turned up one David Baker poet.)

David Baker

David Baker

David Baker was born in Maine and grew up in Missouri. He is a very well-respected poet, with lots of books and prizes. He teaches at Denison and Warren Wilson. 

I don't understand this poem, but I do appreciate the use of space and punctuation, especially the extra space in between "song" and "timorous," used like a comma, but not a comma. I love that. The line breaks, the italics, parenthesis, the dash at the end - that's all awesome. 

Without understanding, my interpretation is reduced to feelings. And this poem leaves me melancholy from the first line and maintains that feeling to the end. Phrases and words like "at least," "I did not hope," and "extinction" all contribute to that feeling, as does the subtle yet brilliant use of space on the page mentioned above. 

Wow, I think I just talked myself into believing I not only kind of understand this poem, but maybe even like it. 

Bring on the goddamn cat!

Week Five: Creative - Poem-A-Day

  1. Day One - Names
  2. Extra Poem - I Am Vertical
  3. Day Two - Non-lieux
  4. Extra Poem - Bring on the Goddamn Cat
  5. Day Three - As a Portent
  6. Extra Poem - To Autumn
  7. Day Four - Playback
  8. Day Five - Last Night
  9. Day Six - Black Cat
  10. Day Seven - Weave In, My Hardy Life
  11. Extra Poems
  12. Conclusion