Oh Donna

I’d like to start with saying that The Cosmopolitan was my favorite book of poetry that I read this semester, in this class as well as contemporary poets and editing and publishing.  I love how Stonecipher has been able to make lists of images that could be totally unrelated and connect them and layer them.  Reading the cosmopolitan left me with a feeling of being cosmopolitan and the struggles that go along with that.  I also feel like Stonecipher uses imagery similar to the imagery that I would like to write.  In fact, we used the same image at one point.  Over winter break I wrote this poem called “Clementine Divine” in which I wrote:

“She is all things orange:

clementines peeled in single spiral, sewn back together with red thread, left on the sill for winter”

So, When I started reading the cosmopolitan before we came back to school, I was so surprised when I read the last line of part 1 of Inlay 16:

“eating clementines and throwing the perfectly sprialed peels into the sea.”

I want to write like Stonecipher.  I especially like how she strung lines of imagery throughout the book.  The most obvious one is the cosmopolitan.  Yet, everytime this words or images come up again, they are surrounded by new things so that the word has different meaning.  The reader, if a good one, will pick up on these repetitions of images over time.  I thought that this was extremely effective. The uniform form of prose poems also worked very well with this, because it allowed the strings of images to stand by themselves.

Structure wise, I think that the emblem sturcture was most helpful for me.  While I think it was the most simple and the one I used the most often unknowingly, it seemed like the base for a lot of the other structures, or, perhaps, what allowed me to understand the other structures.  For example, without understanding the description and meditation of the emblem structure, I would not have been able to understand the description, meditation, and re-description of the descriptive-meditative structure.

This also, I think sort of lends itself to why I like The Cosmopolitan so much.  Stonecipher is constantly describing and redescribing things, and I think that this way of trying to see things in many different lens is appealing to me.


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