Original poem reprinted online here: "Item:" by Angie Estes
Originally read: January 15, 2013
More information about the Poet: Angie Estes
"This poem hinges on this colon because the context of the poem changes from poem, to definition." I somewhat agree with past me. The title having a colon does set-up a poem to be read differently; however, it's not until I read the poem over again (from the first time I read it) that I saw how the colon worked in the poem. Does the poem hinge on the punctuation? For me, Yes. Does the poem change to a definition? For good and bad, maybe. It's a definition poem so there's a little of the sterile (definition) and there's a little of the literary (poetry) in here.
So the italics in the first lines sets up a context to the definition, "a beautiful hours, very well / and richly illuminated" These lines state that items are like this but also how the reader should look at the following definitions of items.
The items range from yahrezit candle, guest star, thimble, T-bone steak (each sentence written up to a point is all different items).
Some notes I wrote along the way bout each item is that the mother's thimble is an "introduction of the 'personal'" yet the personal is trivialized by the simile of, "erect / as a nipple." Past me didn't like the simile as it lead to, "the image turns from humorous to somewhat creepy, bit it goes against sentimentality which has good timing. A definition within a definition" I don't know what past me means with the last part. But the shrink-wrapped T-bonne is kind of creepy.
The the reaffirmation of Item two-thrids way of the poem kind of resets the current definition (imposed in the first two lines) and The reset turns personal with the "I."
And the personal "I" redefines and refines items like how butterfly is used twice, "I saw / the swallowtail butterfly pull nectar / down its though from the bush called butterfly" Misdirection. This confusion leads to the surreal end which I still don't understand what it means. Past me writes, "The ending is so surreal, not particular favorite ending; yet, if the ending happened at "robin snapped them shut" it would be stronger, but much more sentimental"
Basically the ending could've been any surreal things, in my opinion, like parrots instead of doves or a magazine instead of a book, and that disbelief of the stream-of-conciousness is there. However, the risk of ending with the sentimental line would've overly focused the poem but the line would've made more sense.