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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.

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The family survives the long night, and Mayer stays awake literally stoking the fire with her pen and her endless memories that she lays out to keep the dark at bay. They also bring to mind their function, which is quite literally to stand in the place of remembering.

Midwinter Day

mivwinter I know the rest of the night will be as devoted to work as love as I’m now resting in this expensive sentence and in the end I’ll spend it fast writing to you anyway, addressing you and a solution or night beginning like a letter, dag a few words more freely seeing everything more clearly than the rest of life and love tends to be like windows facing mostly south but surrounding us, I’m thinking of you.

With the children asleep Mayer introduces another form in the poem, the epistle. Exactly thirty-six years later, I decided to re read the poem under comparable circumstances. This is precisely what Mayer does throughout Midwinter Day. The tantrum scene is written with all the flourish and eye to detail that a Shakespearian tragedy would give to the apex of the play. She implies that the germination for this poem lies in the unfolding bernadette their lives and in a sense shapes their existence and is shaped by their existence, the two worlds of bernadettte living and poem influencing one another.

Midwinter Day [Excerpt] by Bernadette Mayer – Poems |

I know you speak And are as suddenly forgiven, It’s the consequence of love’s having no cause Then we wonder what we can say I can say I turn formally to love to spend the day, To you to form the night as what I know, An image of love allows what I can’t say, Sun’s lost in the window and love is below Love is the same and does not keep that name I keep that name and I am not the same A shadow of ice exchanges the color of light, Love’s figure to begin the absent night.


She tempts the reader to try and make sense of this jumble of stories piling up and this in turn prompts the reader to question the use of narrative in their own lives.

Nevertheless, it’s not all readerly roses. Fill in your details below or click an icon to midwitner in: My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog. Is this book a poem, a memoir or a psychological experiment?

Secondly, we liked to write about animals thus the name.

Although the reader knows that language is not the living, the suspension of disbelief allows for the creation of a world, an entity as it is made of words that stands in comparison to the reality: The multiple forms and genres strengthen one another and compliment each other, making her work more than bdrnadette poem, but a piece of art. Mayer blends poetry and prose, experimental discoveries, various bermadette, memories, dreams and conversations that when examined contain a remarkably complex retelling of this particular day.

The winter season, symbolic of stasis and death, brings to the forefront middinter mortality, or the dying of the light as it were, that Mayer is constantly drawn to in the poem. She returns to the lineage of the writer and the function of story: And this is perhaps what makes Midwinter Day so simultaneously attractive and alienating: Again, only portions of this text were bernadftte as Studying Hunger [1]. Andrew Epstein on Happy 40th Birthday to Midwint…. Especially in the more stereotypically poetic sections.

Mayer draws a parallel between writing and life through this example showing that the everyday is not only what makes up our lives, but ultimately also what makes up poetry as well. I’m not midwnter if this makes the work more meaningful since the reason for its existance has become more explicit, or less meaningful since part of its mystique has been deconstructed.

This true information is then regurgitated through the mind of the poet. Notify me of new comments via email.

I like the woman who used to work in the Lenox market, midwinterr never wears boots, then she retired The starts and stops of the dream narrative along with the digressions into memory seem to try to mimic the process of sleep.

As the long midwinter night begins, love and language become the two beacons that the family has against the darkness. The MIT Press, And on bernaddtte goes for another page midwintsr a half of unbroken prose, this careful and loving scrutiny of the messy but vibrant domestic space. The notion of seeing and seeing clearly recurs throughout this section; Barthes noted that: Initially it reads too hard, Mayer seems to be trying too hard with the opening dream sequence in which she interjects many sidebar commentaries think Beckett that it seems a document of a dream layered with memory.


For other readers, this will be a masterpiece.

The threat is that the narrator has no control over the dream and therefore to tell it truthfully may reveal more than she is willing to share. Mayer questions whether a dream can represent truth and whether any true retelling of the dream can even occur.

Which makes me wonder whether great poetry only arises when your heart is in the wrong place Dickinson, Whitman, Hart Crane, Berrymanor if you have no heart at all Frost, Bukowski, Dugan. There is no formal rhyme scheme but Mayer consistently uses rhyme ceasing only during the prose section before returning to poetic stanzas and rhyme at the close.

Thinking things the world. She questions this double bind: This is a telling line as the poem itself is working under a time constraint and within that constraint it reveals how much of the time of the day is devoted to other activities besides writing.

And love, love is a theme that Mayer explores again and again prompting the sense that this is indeed a romantic text and not simply a stoic experiment or writing exercise.

I write of bribery and surgery.

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

Aug 29, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: There is a consciousness in regard to the writing life always at work in the poem whether it is present in her obsession with book titles or in questions of poetics that come up: I think the whole poem could be seen as a quest for what that something middinter, and in the final stanzas I think she shares the answer that she found.

You gain an understanding into another human mind and its bumps and tangents. But once again, she does so with a difference. This isn’t confessional is as much beernadette testament to choosing to use many pens to document life, the town’s life, her memory’s life, and the world’s life circa