Poemblot (as in inkblot) is a regular feature where a general reader (i.e. someone who does not have an educational or professional background in writing or literature) is shown a poem and asked to offer an immediate impression. The reader reads the poem no more than twice and is not given any instruction on how to read it or information about the author. One of the purposes of Poemblot is to explore the different perceptions and assumptions readers bring to a text. The readers' full names will not be shared to protect them from rampaging, ego-bruised poets on social media. Instead we'll offer some basic background information and a representational photo provided by each reader as a framework for who they are.
Occupation: Marketing research
Favorite Book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz
Favorite TV Show: Project Runway
Favorite Song: “Superbad” by James Brown
OLD WIVES’ TALE
BY SARAH FOX
I am not a spy. Why? Well because I am a wife,
and wives don’t spy. Do wives lie? Some wives
lie and all wives die. Do wolves cry? Well I am not
a boy, I am a wife. Some wives hear wolf
cried and cried and cried. I am someone’s
mother and so on, I don’t think
I would rather be a wolf. Do wolves
have wives? Once a wife always a wife? Well I am
not a widow. I’ve never seen a wolf eat a boy.
The days go by and they have wolf in them.
I drink; the wolves and I spy someone swimming
for his life crying wolf wolf wolf!! Why is a wolf
a cry? Some boys die crying wolf having never learned
the word for mother. The boy is going on and all that’s left
is just predator. Pretty soon it’s a whole ocean of tales,
not wolves. Then another mother. There should be so much
more spying. I am a real wife, then another wife.
I might rather be a spy: there should be so much more why why why
Wendy W.’s Immediate Impressions
1. What strikes you most about this poem? Does reading it bring up any thoughts, emotions or sensations?
As someone who often gets mistaken for working for the CIA, the spy part really spoke to me. Plus, I do have a spy name.
2. What do you like most about this poem?
It seems both primal/instinctual and cranial/thoughtful.
3. What do you like least about this poem?
The separation of boys and mothers. Aren’t we all the embodiment of everything? Scary thought, maybe we embody nothing.
4. Before reading any poem, do you come to it with certain expectations? If so, does this particular poem meet those expectations? Does your expectations affect your opinion of this poem?
Probably, but I’m not sure if it’s conscious. Do I want to be entertained? Do I want to know more about the writer and/or about myself?
5. Does this poem make you want to read more poems?
It makes me want to be more artistic, but not necessarily read more poems.