Confession: I am not typically a fan of poetry. However, a few days ago I had a delightful time at Paragraphs On Padre listening to poet Katerine Hoerth read some of her poetry. Hearing the back-stories for each piece made it even more enjoyable. Her words flowed smoothly and effortlessly from the paper forming images of everyday occurrences that I had never before appreciated for what they truly were.
Poets with paper and pen, like artists with brush and paper, simply have a different way of seeing the world around us. To them it is as if time stops for an instant while every little detail comes into clear focus. They then weave these minute details into images that are exactly accurate but yet we have never seen with our “naked” eyes.
For example, an insect smashes into my windshield as I race down the highway and I see a mess that will require cleaning. Katie’s artist mind captures a different picture altogether. As she writes in her poem titled MARTYR,
They come from the south
to paint the landscape with bursts
of beauty and sail across hills, fields
and borders without ever looking
back, following the scent of spring
and a simple yearning to a land they’ve
only felt. . . .
Does this sound like the last second of an insect’s life, the insect that just smashed into your windshield? It certainly didn’t to me when I read it until the Thud that appears on the page a few stanzas down. Who but an artist would ever think of an insect as being a martyr? Simple observations, complex thoughts. That’s what artist’s of Katie’s caliber bring to us. As I confessed to her afterward, I take 80,000 words and still fail to accomplish what she achieves in several hundred.
For the rest of the above poem I refer you to Among the Mariposas published by Mouthfeel Press (www.mouthfeelpress.com). I also suggest Katie’s other poetry, such as The Garden Uprooted, which describes her transformation from Wisconsin to South Texas, published by Slough Press (firstname.lastname@example.org).