Wednesday, May 06, 2009


If you scroll down the BRICK's Book Page at the Marsh Hawk Press website, you will see my poem "Helen". Apparently, "Helen" was studied in-depth by an English course this semester at CUNY-La Guardia (taught by poet-professor Thomas Fink).

Well, two essays on "Helen" are newly-reprinted on the Marsh Hawk Press Blog, the first by Athena Clarke and the second by Neliza Abad. First and foremost, I am grateful to Athena and Neliza for honoring my poem with their engagements, their attention. Thank you!

And now, I turn to why this post is entitled "...I...write moi own reality..." That is, at the time I write a poem I am, or try to be, authentically in the poem." But "Helen" is an old poem and at its writing I wasn't then conscious of any desire to be a parent. But here's an excerpt from Neliza's essay (italics mine):
Tabios uses a metaphor for new life when she compares the “white bloom” with a “newborn’s brow”. She uses the color white to signify purity, just as a newborn is also considered pure at birth. This trope also exposes the arousal of Helen’s maternal intuition. She yearns to have a child that she can create a pure bond with and love him/her unconditionally.

So I wrote "Helen" years before I would come to go down the adoption path -- and I am now one happy mother! Many people have asked me about how I don't separate poetry from my life. Well, part (and only part) of the answer is that, quite often, my best poems anticipate.

Um, ... also (wink). What's interesting to me is how Neliza references the first deep reading of "Helen" which is by Ron Silliman (thanks again, Ron, for the attention) as she writes her essay. Very. Interesting.

(Ron's essay was first printed in his blog, then reprinted in the BRICK and then The Blind Chatelaine's Keys).

It's all good. "Helen" has been among my happiest poems for having received several lives through a variety of readers.

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