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New Member
since 1999-11-28
Posts 3
St. Louis, Mo USA

0 posted 1999-11-28 05:07 PM

Has anyone read any Ai poetry? I'm having a problem understanding this one:


The hoof-marks on the dead wildcat
gleam in the dark.
You are naked, as you drag it up on the porch.
That won't work either.
Drinking ice water hasn't,
nor having the bedsprings snap fingers
to help us keep rhythm.
I've never once felt anything
that might get close. Can't you see?
The think I want most is hard,
running toward my own teeth
and it bites back.

This poem originally is from "Cruelty", but I read it in "Vice, New and Selected Poems," since Cruelty is out of print. The author is Ai, this book was published and copyrighted in 1999.

Please help me understand this poem.
Carly Issitt

[This message has been edited by moonunit39 (edited 12-01-1999).]

© Copyright 1999 moonunit39 - All Rights Reserved
since 1999-09-11
Posts 478
Washington D.C.
1 posted 1999-11-28 09:35 PM

what is Ai poetry???
Member Ascendant
since 1999-08-20
Posts 5705
Jejudo, South Korea
2 posted 1999-12-01 12:21 PM

I'll try to get back to this poem a little bit later. Hope people can help you here.

doreen peri
Member Elite
since 1999-05-25
Posts 3812
3 posted 1999-12-01 09:02 AM

As far as interpreting this poem, it will take some reading and re-reading, I think. On first read, it appears to be about a broken or pained relationship. The"dead wildcat" being perhaps some issue that's been debated over and over between the two lovers. (I got the feeling it was about lovers becasue of the reference to being naked and to the bedsprings keeping rhythm). The title gives a lot of hints.... I will have to come back and offer more interpretation later....

I'm glad you posted this for another reason, however, which concerns copyright. First, it was obviously not clear that "ai" was the author of this poem and you have not included a copyright symbol or date. I suspect that "ai" herself (himself?), may not be happy with your posting his/her poem on the internet without proper copyright reference.

I have of late been very concerned about copyrights.... and making sure my work is protected, as well as every other author on this planet.

Sorry to digress, but I think you should at least edit this and add the author's name, copyright symbol, and date of copyright. Since this is published already, it is possible that posting it at all, even with the copyright references I suggest, is in violation of the publisher's copyright.

These issues are very sticky, yet very important.

I totally understannd that you have posted this because you are into reading this poet's work and are interested in a discussion of interpretation. That being said, again I ask that you excuse me for digressing.... but this is an important digression nonetheless. Thanks for understanding, moonunit39.

I am going to start an entirely separate thread to talk about copyright laws and protection should anybody be interested in discussing this matter with me.


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