Original poem reprinted online here: "Circuit someone, somewhere" by Jane Lewty
Originally read: August 27, 2013
More information about the Poet: Jane Lewty
The key to this poem is how the repetition: alliteration or word, works within the poem. With the first stanza the alliteration stands out, "Circuit someone, somewhere / circuit--crack--chip / someone says listen" Note that the importance in the c and the s alliteration and how there's a mix of discordance and flow. Flow in the concept, the content mimics the sound of circuitry; meanwhile, the discordance is forced by the syntax in which separates the individual parts.
The first stanza sets up the focus for me. Look at how the words are reused., "Nuance and pace plays, how I miss you, what a tune, it makes me say we-- / We the pale arrivals, pale sedentary." The first repetition of we seems like more a transition for further definition; meanwhile, "pale," grammatically serves as an adjective which colors the nouns, but of what? "Pale" in these terms serve to equate the same level on both "arrivals" and "sedentary" -- not necessarily meaning the same thing, but rather being seen the same way.
Then there's the "last" where the visual, "see our last--" is indicated, and then the definition, "our last roofs, mountings, awnings go down, tele--poles" and past me noted "visual horizontal representation" and so here is a moment of ars poetica in which the speaker points out how the repeating words are meant to intersect each other based upon meaning or sound or layout.
"In water we go round / and we go round." This could be taken as a kind of humorous line; however, note how the meaning changes based on focus. The focus in the beginning of the line is "in water" and the repetition reinforces the importance in "we go round."
The repetition of "all" is more of an encompassing device in which the speaker tries to create a distance view (note not objective) in which the speaker describes the town in a physical sense, "its hard quarry / its calcite weathers, redbrick and radial" (note "calcite" here is subtle way to refer back to pale) to a personal sense, "In our town, our river runs / it runs always / as if over stones." Note here that the play here is not the personal attachment, but rather what the simile to bring up. What does rivers usually run over? Stones when I think about it, But here the simile serves as a backdrop to the entire poem. What is expected is intersects.