Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lynda Hull's Collected Poems

Lynda Hull was born December 5th, in 1954 in Newark, New Jersey. Although she passed away early in 1994 in a car accident, she has quite a collection of published poems that you can find in her collected volume, Lynda Hull Collected Poems as I have or in her smaller collections still available today. She has won several prizes for her poetry which were often influenced by her love of Jazz. You can learn more about her using the poets.org link below, there are many featured poems for you to peruse there as well.

One of the poems I enjoyed is titled “Night Waitress.” It is, quite simply, about a waitress taking in the scene before her while reminiscing about her own personal life and I am often fond of the simpler poems with clear meanings. As Lynda thinks of her mother, she writes “She washed the floor on hands and knees/below the Black Madonna, praying/…who’s not here tonight when I lay out the plates,/small planets, the cups and moons of saucers.” What I like about these lines is the imagery, you can picture a woman scrubbing the floor of a church under a Black Madonna, or a world of plates and cups. I love the insert of the words “small planets” because you could almost overlook them within the poem but instead they bring out so much more interest in an otherwise mundane idea or task. As Ms. Hull moves onto the description of the customers she admits she is invisible to them although “There’s the man/who leans over the jukebox nightly/pressing the combinations/of numbers. I would not stop him/if he touched me,…” The customers are factory workers who “grip lunch box handles,/belt buckles gleam,” while she prepares to go home after another night of work. “I think of my room as a calm arrival/each book and lamp in its place.” The poem is very simple, describing a single typical night of waitressing but the lines make it enjoyable to read and easy to take in and picture as is. Lynda Hull does write more complex poems and ideas but there are times I’m in the mood for simplicity and ease which is perfectly executed in this poem.

Another poem I enjoy is “The Floating Wedding” where the bride is awake on her wedding night next to her exhausted new husband while looking about the cabin on the lake and out the window at the nightlife. For the aftermath of the party, “artifacts of marriage remain, heavy knives,/ the wedding cake sodden and littered/with the confetti of good cheer./She watches on shore a single headlamp./It’s the drunk. She knows him, has seen him…” The bride contemplates this man who “Nightly/he struggles with the bicycle through the sand/past floating piers and houses with their freight/of sleep.” I love the words “freight of sleep.” She finds another way of saying heavy eyelids, which is a wonderful way to change up the wording of a typical analogy. As the husband sleeps through all of this, “she lowers her veil to the sea,/its crown of flowers floating/like a doll’s small funeral barge.” This is an unexpected comparison to me, flowers from a wedding and then the mention of a funeral barge. It takes a joyous occasion and turns it to a somber event. Juxtaposition is another favorite idea of mine. “When she wraps her arms around herself/she is wrapped in blue fire. She touches/her husband’s whitening shoulder.” To me, these lines indicate that she is alive with passion in her wakeful state while her husband is sleeping, pale through the chill night air during the events taking place in their surroundings. I think this poem is beautiful and I cannot do it justice by presenting some lines in this paragraph. You will have to read it yourself if you can find a copy of her collected poems.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Lynda Hull, please click the link below and be sure to read some of her poems that are linked:

Thanks for reading, please drop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound...

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