Friday, September 19, 2014

ModPo MOOC Poem of the Day: "It isnt for want" by Cid Corman

The Songs of Eretz MOOC ModPo Poem of the Day for September 19, 2014 is "It isnt for want" (the poet omits the apostrophe in "isn't") by Cid Corman (1924 - 2004) (pictured).  A link to the poem may be found here:  http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88v/cormanwant.html.  An audio recording of the poem by the poet may be found here:  https://media.sas.upenn.edu/pennsound/authors/Corman/Corman-Cid_Poem-beginning-it-isnt-for-want_KWH_11-19-01.mp3.  A brief biography and references may be found here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/cid-corman.

Cid Corman spent much of his life living and working in Japan, and his poetry was influenced by it.  "It isnt for want" is arranged in haiku-like tercets.  Each line contains exactly five syllables.  The end words of the first and last lines of the second stanza are assonant, and those of every line in the final stanza are consonant.  The omission of the apostrophe in "isn't" may have been a nod to the traditional way of presenting haiku, although he does include capital letters, Dickinson dashes, and even italics.

The poem speaks to the every poet's desire--to be heard by a listener or read by a reader.  The poet lacks not words, as the first stanza reveals.  He desires only to have you, the reader/listener, hear or read his words, as long as you will stay, and as long you you exist.

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