Post by Zod Post by Will Dockery
with Cousin Jenny,
beyond the sheds.
Late summer vacation 1973
in the backwoods of Tennessee.
To the right
behind the barn
were apple trees.
There were several
of those trees
and other trees
beyond a field
and behind them, other trees.
Later, I stood near
as a crowd
watched Pops and my Uncle
cooking apple butter;
stirring the brown gunk,
boiling in a huge black kettle.
I saw my father
a wine bottle
to my Uncle Clarence.
I went from
breathing cold mist
out back behind the barn,
the hot misty steam.
The air smelled of apple fumes
and strong booze.
This poem is obviously a montage in poetry form....
If that were true there wouldn't be any argument.
The poem is obviously not a montage in poetry form.
A montage in poetry form would constitute a list of three or more seemingly unrelated images that tell a story, share a theme, condense time, or perform other functions normally associated with a cinematic montage.
There are exactly *none* of these in Will's poem.
"Summer Ghosts" is an example of montage in poetry form.
Watch it and learn:
Beginning on line 6 and continuing until the penultimate line, the poem is in montage form.
As you can see, it comprises a list of seemingly unrelated images (Slingshots, bottle caps and strings, backyard picnics, tire swings, snakes and turtles, dogs and cats, scuffles, skinned knees, baseball bats, skinny dipping, fishing holes, schoolyard buddies, football goals...) that acquire a shared meaning through juxtaposition.
Or, approaching the poem retroactively, you can say that all of the separate images represent scenes from a typical childhood.
Either way, you've got a montage.
There is *nothing* even remotely approaching this in Will's poem.
A Poem by Michael Pendragon
Night and day they follow me
Just outside my range of sight,
Shades of things that used to be
Singing to me all the night,
Singing of forgotten things
Childhood dreams and fairy wings
Hours lost in idle play
Loved ones who have 'gone away'
Slingshots, bottle caps and strings
Backyard picnics, tire swings
Snakes and turtles, dogs and cats
Scuffles, skinned knees, baseball bats
Skinny dipping, fishing holes,
Schoolyard buddies, football goals
Counting stars on moonlit nights
Paper airplanes, pillow fights
Tummy aches and runny nose
Mother's kisses, father's hugs
Butterflies and doodle bugs
Popcorn, peanuts, puddin' 'n' pie
Pink cloud-dragons in the sky
Pop guns, cap guns, coonskin hats
Black eyes, fistfights, tits for tats
Fire engines, freight train cars
Fireflies in Mason jars
Goldfish, hoagies, fake tattoos
Fourth of July barbeques
Cootie catchers, toadstools, ticks
Kickball, chicken, pickup sticks
Cub Scouts, campfires, weenie roasts
Scary stories, schoolyard boasts
Red light, green light, Simon said
Bears and prayers and off to bed.
All these memories, I keep
Dear as faded photographs,
When I close my eyes to sleep
When my son or daughter laughs
When the night wind sings to me
Of all the things that used to be.