when the reading public demands more, you give it to them. Back when we first read Mary Oliver’s bear poem in 2012, a reader wrote back saying,
"I am thinking about this and am unable to get past what I want to see in it-
Spring is a time of mania and death. The highest suicide rate is in April and most genocides have an anniversary date in April. The extended sunlight causes spring fever- ie mania. The bear rushing down the mountain and the dark imagery of its teeth might represent the wickedness that is released in the spring. I could go on and on- I have a theory that I keep notes on about seasonal affective disorder and mass murder…"
She then quickly followed up that email with, "or she is in the mood for rough sex with her partner:)?"
Last week, a NJ reader said, re: the spring imagery, "Anything Spring sounds so much better when read during a cold winter snap."
A Pittsburgh reader also wrote to me last week to say, as an addendum, "And, secondarily, as an opportunity to say that I like Wild Geese and have always liked Wild Geese!!! (aggressively/defensively, apparently) I like this one, too…" She meant the poem and book of poems by that title, not the dish or the Irish speaking nobles who fled Ulster in the late 17th century. And here it is!
As a note, I assume no one would mind getting those comments in their inbox, so seize the day my collaborators, and hit "reply all" when you can. I don’t want to be the sole conduit for keeping these conversations on a low simmer when you all react to one of the pieces. It’s the perfectly simple, "Hey, this hit me, too!" that encourages people to engage. -ed.