Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Aurorean (Spring/Summer 2015): The Weight of the World We Hold

The Aurorean (Spring/Summer 2015): The Weight of the World We Hold

“They fall like an uncountable rain/on the field of remembrance,/and here you are again/ old friend of fabric and pole,/ keeping me dry,” Gus Peterson writes in his poem “Tent,” featured in The Aurorean’s Spring/Summer 2015 issue. Peterson’s poem, rich with images of rain, love, and the feeling of yearning, is a prime example of what this issue of The Aurorean encompasses as a whole. Each poem, no longer than a page, tells a story, captures a scene, and makes us think differently about nature.

In the poem, “To A One-winged Owl in a Cage,” George Young creates such a sharp, intense feeling and image. Young writes:
I know you can’t row

a boat
with one oar, old Yellow Eyes.

But nights

do you still

over fields sparking with frost, wear

your cowl of moonlight?

By comparing the one-winged owl to a boat with one oar, Young makes it possible for us to see ourselves in this disadvantaged being. We don’t just feel sympathy for this owl—our hearts completely ache for this owl. Whether someone has a disability, a disorder, or is going through a hard time, everyone feels like a one-winged owl at some point in their life, and dreams of being able to fly again.

    One of the showcase poets in this issue, Ellaraine Lockie, writes about observing nature, and shows how its simplicity is enough to move someone’s soul. In her poem, “Imposter on the Prairie,” Lockie writes:

By my feet on the graveled roadside
a line of ants carries a grasshopper
beside an empty aluminum bottle
A five-hour extra strength
grape energy drink
with painted mountain scene

In this instance, nature is moving around an unnatural, man-made item. It is moving how creatures that are as tiny as ants can work together, and become a larger force that is strong enough to carry a grasshopper. It’s interesting to think how humans drink energy drinks and rely on caffeine for fuel, when ants can carry 10-50 times their body weight with their own strength. The mountain scene that is painted on this energy drink makes nature feel artificial, and like it’s just a piece of aluminum. Yet, next to this drink the ants are experiencing a moment of ecstasy—dinner is on its way home.
    At the end of this issue, there is a collection of haikus written by Creative Writing students. James Lautermilch writes:

    summer day
    a bee looking for pollen
    searches my ear

In this haiku you can feel and hear the bee, and imagine the tight knot in your chest as you try not to breathe, hoping you don’t get stung. In just three lines, Lautermilch is able to create strong emotions and a vivid scene. Like all of the poems in this issue, this haiku leaves the reader thinking about how nature and humans interact with each other, and what role we play in the world.

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