Eunoia and Panoply

I’m pleased to announce some recent poetry publications. Eunoia Review has published  a little thing I call Spring Training and four links from my “Limits” poem project:


Panoply has published my poem, Are We Not Acceptable, Moon?

“Eunoia” and “panoply” are great words. The first means “beautiful thinking” and the second denotes an impressive display of varied items. The Review is one of my favorite poetry journals and it’s nice to know that the Zine is centered in Tallahassee, the capital of my home state.

Each segment entitled “Limits”can be read as a single poem, but I think of them (I’ve written 20 or so) as links in a single work. I had intended to write one poem with that title (inspired by Borges’ great poem of the same name) but, curiously, the theme struck me as too rich to stop.

The phrase, “are we not acceptable, moon?” comes fromVirginal Woolf’s extraordinary novel, The Waves. The passage is far too beautiful to spoil by recording my personal reactions (the poem, if I am not mistaken, stands on its own). Here is another piece of it:

Words crowd and cluster and push forth one on top of another. It does not matter which. They jostle and mount on each other’s shoulders. The single and the solitary mate, tumble and become many. It does not matter what I say. Crowding, like a fluttering bird, one sentence crosses the empty space between us. It settles on his lips. I fill my glass again. I drink.

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7 Responses to Eunoia and Panoply

  1. Susan Scheid says:

    Where to begin? There is so much here that to the question I pose I have no answer. The poems are marvelous, and into the bargain you’ve referred to my desert island Woolf novel, The Waves. Interesting, too, how the mind skips among associations, increasing the resonance and joy from reading your fine poems. Your first “Limits” made my mind skip to this: “So much has passed through my mind this morning/That I can give you but a dim account of it”. Congratulations on publication of these poems, so well-earned!

  2. Brendan says:

    Yeah, congrats Mark, well done and well deserved. Writing a la “Waves” from the center of the egg of settled middle class life is a heck of a project. But what else are we gonna do? … Sorry to hear about the red tide creeping into Tampa Bay. The stench is one thing when its next door, another when it comes knocking. I think the first “Limits” poem is my fave of the bunch, I can see it in my own sky.

  3. chrissmanion says:

    I have given everything I have
    yet in dreams you don’t even answer
    when I call.

    The emotions in Spring Training sit taut and muscled. Lovely work, Mark. Lovely tension.

    When you wrote in one of your Limits poems “The brain can’t work with limits,” I seemed to hear Theodor Suess Geisel clear his throat. His greatest work was created when his editor challenged him after “Cat in the Hat” which used 225 different words that he couldn’t write a book using fewer. Green Eggs and Ham was born from that challenge and limit. It contains fifty different words. After that project, Geisel is reported to prefer limits which he found spurred his creativity.

    Chris Manion

    • Thanks for your response. Beckett too (my favorite writer) was most inspired by limits–as I am!

      • chrissmanion says:

        I’m glad you’re inspired by limits. Would you kindly please explain then your line in the poem “The brain can’t work with limits.”

        • Hi, I can explain it, but that doesn’t mean the poem can’t be improved.

          The brain chafes against its confines. Because it cannot be satisfied with its limits, it sets work to, in some sense, overcome them. The phrase, “can’t work with limits” is like saying, ‘I can’t deal with this’ just before and/or as a spur to dealing with it. ‘I can’t stand it, so I’m doing something about it’. The rest of the poem shows that; Hawking is the hero, etc.

          I have considered, based on your comment, that the line may not work the way I want it to. And the poem does not need the line. I could take it out and just say something like:

          The brain chafes, resists, refuses to sit still in its skull….

          So you have helped me think about this–how to make the poem clearer. Thanks for that.

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