KWH Pick of the Week: “Homing” by Beth Marzoni, Chosen by Cameron Gearen

Posted on March 5, 2012


Knox Writers’ House Contributor’s Pick of the Week 2/5/2012

Homing by Beth Marzoni in Kalamazoo, MI

Chosen by Cameron Gearen in New Haven, CT who says:

I sure do like me a poem that’s an invitation.  One that opens its arms and says, “Come on in.”  One that moves over and makes room for me on the couch.  One that chatters: “Here’s how I think about things.  Come hang out in my reality for a little while.”  And then I get the chance to enter that poem’s world for as long as it takes me to read or listen to the poem.  And for longer, if the poem is good enough to change my brain chemistry.

Beth Marzoni’s poem Homing is an invitation.  It’s an invitation to spend time with a thoughtful sensibility, to sit with a speaker who has a giant heart, a great eye for detail, a keen memory and a tough time going to sleep one night.  I find her musings captivating and her links deft.  The poem is campy and earnest at once, and I love how it is disarming that way.  I am willing to run a small risk of spoiling to say that my favorite part of this poem was the discussion of the speaker’s idea of heaven, which I found intensely moving.

And of course a poem has to be a little or a lot bit heartbreaking to really be a keeper.  Marzoni is ambitious in her scope, yet always grounded in the everyday.  This poem delivers one or two breathless moments that made me quickly go into emotional turbo drive and get an aerial view of the human experience.  From that vantage point, one considers questions like “What are we all doing here anyway?” and I think Marzoni’s answer to a question like that would be, “Trying to love each other the best we can,” the way her motley cast of characters loves each other in HomingHoming is a great instruction manual and a terrific way to begin a Monday morning in March.

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