NaPoReMo – June 5

In the Red Seats

I have to say this one lost me. It didn’t move me at all; I found it flat, too conversational, insignificant. Not that conversational is necessarily bad; but I wasn’t convinced by the epiphany-in-the-ordinary that Hudgins clearly intended.

It’s a simple piece, easy to get, about the narrator’s experience with a drunk while sitting high in the red seats at a ballgame. The “drunk” and his friends edge by the narrator and the “drunk” overbalances and is in danger of falling, when N. catches him. The drunk is profoundly grateful. This is the result:

from an adoring, pink,
intoxicated face,
love shimmered, love radiated
like equatorial sunshine,
the way a lover’s face
illuminates the lover,
the loved, and the dark world
in one strange, lucent moment:
satisfied and thrilled, intense
and effortless — as God
regards us every moment

I’m not convinced by it. I think it’s forced. I don’t buy the link between the drunk, the lover, and God, I’m afraid. 

See, for me there’s a difference between the damn daffodils (which I object to on principle, because I’m expected to know what daffodils are and understand why poets write about them, while when I write about what is familiar to me I have people respond by saying “I don’t know what this is”, and why the hell should I care? Wordsworth and Hudgins don’t care that I don’t recognize daffodils, do they?) and this. In “Poem”, the link between the daffodils and war is arresting, and it resonates with me. That poem is growing on me and may work its way into my consciousness. This one? Not a chance.

Maybe it’s all the adjectives.


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