Original poem reprinted online here: "Brief Study of Parades" by Jill Osier
Originally read: April 225, 2013
More information about the Poet: Jill Osier
That's what I looked for when I read this poem. And since the poem is in list format, there is an imposed sequence (just like a parade) which may or may not mean something. Why the "or"? The poem straddles the line between meaning something and just being observant (no meaning imposed on the observation).
The first three on the list I labeled, "Parade perspective" or the perspective of the ones putting on the show. For example, "1) There must be lifting" could refer to the physical construction, or the line can open up this to a more spiritual level by the term "lift." Yeah, the second perspective
is out there, but the ambiguous of the term open up a lot of interpretations.
"2) There must be so many shoes" -- past me wrote, "marches or audience" or in this case an indicator of a lot of people. What is interesting about this line if this is an indicator, the external is considered as a person than who they are (which will come back on the bottom half of the list).
"3) Acknowledge this! Acknowledge this with music!" I think this is the line that made me want to look at this poem again. Past me wrote, "self-referential, shift to the audience perspective" When, now, I feel this is an interpretation (with a sprinkle of humor) of the basis of parades. Also this is the line where the observation teeters to judgement.
"4) We clap, we speak in waves, we remember the curb." Note how the audio imagery link together here "music" and "clap" and then "waves" becomes a bit surreal, then "curb" gives a concrete image.
"5) We are a terrible speed." Past me wrote here "commentary" -- and since this is the first time the poem uses an adjective it stands out. And so "terrible" feels like a loaded word and could appear to be commentary -- any other way of looking at the adjective is washed away then. "Terrible" serves as a word that means something, but in the context of the line, is confusing because what does the adjective actually clarify, "speed"? past me wrote, "too fast, too slow," what is it? Loaded word that fizzes out -- a dead metaphor in as sense.
"6) We are the only people we've been trying to be." Past me wrote, "parade for spectacle / parade for showing awareness or recognition." The comparison isn't there, only the sentiment. And perhaps the parade is an an overblown expression of beliefs, but since the terms are so ambiguous there's really no direction in a forced direction poem.