From My Commonplace Book - 32

Styrofoam Cup

by Brenda Hillman

thou still unravished thou
thou, thou bride
thou unstill,
thou unravished unbride
unthou unbride

Brenda Hillman (1951, American) is called in her Poetry Foundation bio an "electic formalist." The entry goes on to say: "Brenda Hillman is known for poems that draw on elements of found texts and document, personal narrative, confession, and literary theory." "Styrofoam Cup" appears in her collection Cascadia.

Hear her read the poem at:

Compare the poem to "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats:


What a lovely introduction to Brenda Hillman - thank you Merry (and the sites). It is good to see poetry is so alive and well at Dodge too. Her "Styrofoam Cup" - homage to Keats I found great fun - steeped as she is in the classics herself (references to). Long live the Romantics - too many wars at present ! .
thanks again , merry; I bookmarked the non-copyrighted books Bartleby site!i got Robert's 2 novels; will give them a try but they look repressed and I am getting a bit fed up of that. Love Steve
Thank you, Enid. "Styrofoam Cup" I've seen with different spacing, and Brenda Hillman reads it as if there is, for example, space between unravished and thou in the first line.

Brenda Hillman may not be consider herself a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet, but some her poems are certainly heavily influenced by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E=P=O=E=T=R=Y (what a pain to type!), and I find those poems of hers difficult.
Hi, Steve.

Is "Robert" a first or last name? I'm trying to remember who all we talked about the last time. "Robert" is not in my notes of writers you mentioned in that conversation. Repression? Robert W.?

A poem of Brenda Hillman's appropriate for this holiday weekend, a political poem (I think) which refers to July 4th, is, because of its length and formatting, too difficult to post here. But anyone interested in seeing another poem by Brenda Hillman can read it at
Thank you for your new site for Brenda Hillman - I do find what is termed L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E-P-O-E-T-R-Y very difficult though I suppose Shakespeare had great fun with words and meanings especially Midsummer Night's Dream (all else aside). Happy 4th July to you. (It's 10.31 am here now - time for a poem - ode to the 6 hour gap ?)
Hi, Enid. Did you get your ode written?

Thanks for your holiday good wishes. My plans for the day: read more poetry. And then maybe make Chocolate Moose (ricotta cheese, cocoa, stevia, a little milk, vanilla -- a modification of a recipe from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York).

Reading poetry but thinking about chocolate,
Merry on the 4th of July
Hi Merry - your chocolate mousse sounds delicious !. I've taken some inspiration from a Zen Master - Dangai - on the little problem "where are the missing 6 hours". You may enjoy too.

Earth, river, mountain:
Snowflakes melt in air.
How could I have doubted ?
Where's north ? south ? east ? west ?

So I'm content to let the hours go. Many of these poems available on the Web by googling the name - Zen Poetry.
Thank you, Enid. I do like the poem!

As chance would have it, this week I'm reading an anthology of North American Buddhist poetry and hope to post one or more from the book soon.

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