Saturday, April 14, 2018

M is for Michelle Boisseau:

It's April! Time for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge!

For those who haven't played along before, the AtoZ Blogging Challenge asks bloggers to post every day during April (excepting Sundays), which works out to 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. In my opinion, it's the most fun if you choose a theme.

This will be my 5th year participating.
My theme this year is Poets I Love all about some of the poets whose work has touched me over the years.

For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers stretching their limits this month to share their passions with you, too. With over 600 participants, there is bound to be something you'd love to read.

Michelle Boisseau was my teacher once. She and George Eklund were the two poets on the teaching staff at Morehead State University during my tenure there. 

Michelle lost to lung cancer last year, so can now only teach me through the words she left behind now. 

 Counting was the first of her poems I loved. "After a while, remembering the men you loved/is like counting stars." I think it might have been the line about the lover whose skin still smelled of milk that got me, back then. 

She was always so good at that striking and powerful first line. 

Another one, Eurydice, is my favorite retelling of that particular myth. "It isn't you he wants, but the getting you out." This poem might be why I've become such a lover of back and side door stories, that reinterpret stories I already know and love. 

Michelle was the person who turned me on to Louise Glück, who remains one of my favorite poets. 

The Fury that Breaks with that lovely structure, where the object one line becomes the subject of the next. 

This poem sent me off to explore the work of César Vallejo, for whom the poem bears a dedication. So, even there on the other side of the veil, Michelle is still telling me who to read, knowing just who will speak to me. And she's right, too. I'll miss her. 

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