Bernadette Mayer’s «Midwinter Day»: Dream of the («Extra»)Ordinary. 1. Imagining her self or, more specifically, how words have the power to give texture and. Midwinter Day [Bernadette Mayer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Perhaps Bernadette Mayer’s greatest work, Midwinter Day was written. I had an idea to write a book that would prove the day like the dream has everything in it.” — Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day Today marks.

Author: Kazilkis Kerr
Country: Mayotte
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Science
Published (Last): 5 September 2007
Pages: 91
PDF File Size: 5.93 Mb
ePub File Size: 14.71 Mb
ISBN: 738-3-63006-971-5
Downloads: 81363
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mazusho

Midwinter Day

Jan 01, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: The story of her dreams, the story of her day and then back to her night a day lived in a red-brick apartment building, in a small town. Written is six parts, it is an epic poem about daily routine and takes us from awakening, emerging through dreams to the whole day, and then back to dreams again.

Berbadette least to me. She pulls them from a jar, opens them and puts them back.

She moves from formal to free verse and puts both forms side by side, demonstrating her ability to work this experiment in both modes. I can’t go on. Mayer draws attention to this unconscious tendency or this act that is taken for granted on a daily basis in order to question what the idea of story is to the reader.

Review – Bernadette Mayer, ‘Midwinter Day’

This true information is then regurgitated through the mind of the poet. These two parts representing the interior life of the family at morning and at evening bookend the middle part three, which occurs exclusively outside of the home focusing on family errands and the history and mapping of the town.

That is, provided you’re the kind of person who reads Paradise Lost for aesthetic pleasures. Notify me of new comments via email. The list form emerges again as she draws a mental picture of their surroundings: This return signals a circling back towards the dreaming world and foreshadows the next section which leads to the close of the day and the end of the brrnadette.


She returns to the lineage of the writer and the function of story: The hearth is the center of the home where the family gathers, where the food is cooked and where warmth is provided.

I’m not sure if this makes the mayeg more meaningful since the reason for its existance has become more explicit, or less meaningful since part of its mystique has been deconstructed. A classic example of Bernadette Mayer’s interest in time and perception.

The sheer variety and excessive volume of the material Mayer catalogs conveys the overwhelming abundance of information, drama, and activity contained in a single day and its news—a virtually limitless expanse of human experience. And I love lists. It is a rich and various landscape recorded in a seemingly banal routine: Here, the poet walks with kids in tow, stops by the small-town post office and the library, and hauls her daughters along to bookstore and market, as in this passage:.

Reading it now, it seems to me the written-in-one-day thing is much less of a big deal than the actual poem. It still struck me as esoteric, sporadically lyrical, and at times quite trying on the ol’ attention span.

Review – Bernadette Mayer, ‘Midwinter Day’ – third year poetry project

As such passages suggest, Mayer casts off the strictures of poetic convention as too limiting to capture the variety and complexity of daily life. The paragraphs become expositions on both her immediate present and the memories of books read that this present stirs up, and the two seem to be disparate but in fact illustrate the circuitous nature of memory and intellect.

In deciding to create a book-length poem, Mayer quite self-consciously contributes her own effort to the storied genre of the long poem.

Mayer confesses as well as apologizes during the retelling: I think the whole poem could be seen as a quest for what that something is, and in the final stanzas I think she shares the answer that she found.

So, The Tiny, Tawny Kitten is as much a part of the makeup of this poem as the Egyptian and American Indian mythology books discussed or references to poet Anne Bradstreet. Listing is a device that Mayer returns to throughout the poem; in part two she uses it to set the scene cataloguing the entire makeup of several rooms of the house.


Her statement reveals her fascination with the challenge between privacy and a function bernadettte language which is to communicate private thoughts. The melding of high and low art converges in this section through her descriptions and allusions to books.

Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer

The traditional bernadettf themes of action and struggles to overcome are not found here, and unlike other long poems by Pound, Eliot or Williams, Midwinter Day circles closer and closer into the intimate view of the family rather than out towards an all encompassing view of history or the tale of the tribe. For Mayer the choice of the writing life is exemplified in this decision to write about her children, their playthings and diaper changes rather than simply putting down the pen to attend to the work of raising a family.

Mayer layers story upon story to flesh out the workings of the mind and how integral the act of telling and retelling is to life. As I have suggested, this stance has taken root in many corners of contemporary poetry.

Like Ulysses, each of its six parts is written in a slightly different style. Now that bernzdette days Are full of normal parts It seems we have all lived forever so far Eyes open, eyes closed, half-open, one eye open One closed to the coming day 7. There is a sense of relief that the poem is both finished and the writer can sleep as well as relief that the family has avoided death on this long night.

Almost a parody of what poetry should never become. It’s specificity which seemed often to be an entirely recognizable reflection of my own experience.