Lorine Neidecker

Sometimes the simplest poem can charm me, like this one from Sean Singer’s “The Sharpener” this morning:

You are my friend–
you bring me peaches
and the high bush cranberry
.                           you carry
my fishpole

you water my worms
you patch my boots
with your mending kit
.                  nothing in it
but my hand

Lorine Niedecker

I wonder if she is talking to another or to herself?

Whose poem is this?

Sometimes I can’t remember whether something in my notes is original or cribbed from somewhere.  For example, did I write this? or was it possibly Lorine Niedecker?

Changed two words.
What I call
a morning’s work.

It’s very like some of her short work:

Remember my little granite pail?
The handle of it was blue.
Think what’s got away in my life—
Was enough to carry me thru.

*                    *                   *

Popcorn-can cover
screwed to the wall
over a hole
so the cold
can’t mouse in

Both those are hers, and I can’t remember for the life of me whether that three-line stanza is mine or hers. Someone might know…

In any case, I thought of it, because my day’s work today was to come up with the phrase “the darning needle of dread,” which came out of reading Robert Kroetsch. His mother called dragon flies darning needles. I liked that idea, and so it goes. Though I’m not too crazy about his prose so far. A little too Hemingway-wannabe? a little too peppered with self-consciously quotable phrases? I’m not sure just what I am finding off-putting. I haven’t gotten to the poetry yet. But I do like Lorine Niedecker! An underrated poet, I think. She lived into her late sixties, but I couldn’t find a good later photo. She wasn’t as secluded and little known as Emily Dickinson, but you don’t get too famous if you live a quiet life in the wetlands of Wisconsin.