Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 1989
Poet Sm ith thrives Continued from page 7
BY JAY PINKA
I remember paint as love I rolled out on the wall
A shade of peach so delicate it took two coats to change the hall
Now her cigarette smoke yellows on the paint
It clings with your consent to all the carpeting and drapes
It comes to me like some bad joke
Tangled in the scent of our son...
This sort of blend of metaphor and narrative resulted in the emotional,
subjective experience listeners had the pleasure of when Shirley Smith read
her poetry at Guild House last night. The above lines are from the work the
poet considers her best, "The Other Woman."
Smith's work is, as you witness here, marked with a submerged but per-
ceptible level of symbolic imagery. Her words draw readers in with enchant-
ing nuances of fairy tales - inciting the imagination by referring to mem-
ory, drawing the senses in with colors, and utilizing time frames to create a
story that brings individual meaning to the experience of reading.
The poet's admiration and enjoyment of the work of Anne Sexton shows
in her own literary talents. Smith complimented Sexton on the "strange
metaphors and wild comparisons" which bring "sentens and solas" to readers
today. Smith's work parallels Sexton's as she also accepts the challenge of
recreating the intense emotion of "gut reactions," as the poet phrases them,
inside the confines of language that poetry presents. Smith wishes to in-
clude more surrealism in her poems, and has recently been interested- in
"Black culture." She backs up her visionary works with the sincere passion
revealed in her words, which show her appreciation for feminist poets:
"I want to say that I am really angry... about being a second-class citi-
Though Smith revised "The Other Woman" several times, her more re-
cent work has been created more spontaneously. The intimacy that she as an
author shares with readers is achieved now, after ten years of writing, almost
"subconsciously" in one draft. This writer who strives for unusual imagery
in her work is, as is especially reflected in her pieces from the last two
years, "finally writing the way I want to write." In one poem, entitled
"Assignments," which she wrote in a class at Washtenaw Community
College, the poet laughed, "I sound like I'm stabbing my professor."
Interestingly, it was Smith's fifth grade teacher that gave her the 101
American Poems that initially inspired her.
This violent reference might make you question the intent of Smith's
writing. After all, Plato thought poets were the revolutionaries of society -
tearing apart community with their illogical, sensual uses of language. But
Smith manifests the exception, if there is indeed any truth to such a rule.
The author enjoys writing in community:
"The spirit doesn't move me unless I'm in a group."
The content and clarity of her work demonstrates that poetry is no
frivolous endeavor to her. Smith has been published in several literary jour-
nals, including The Bad Haircut Quarterly as well as WCC's own Northern
Smith's own vivid titles, including "Urology," "Worms," and "The
Psychology Test," not only stimulate the imagination but also hint at
something unique to Smith among the poetic ranks.
Smith is not the typical assistant professor, graduate or undergraduate
English major one expects to be reading poetry to her fans (incidentally, she
just received her first "fan letter" last week). The poet is a medical technolo-
gist who presently works at the University Medical Center as a patient sit-
ter. Naturally, she draws much material for her writing from her job. The
variation in patients at the hospital makes for diverse subject matter in her
poems.bOne of her works focused on a man named Ray who was afflicted
with a brain tumor.
Her goals for the future obviously include a continuation of her sharing
"I would definitely love to have a book published," said Smith.
Peace And Love also runs the
gamut of musical styles. Phil
Chevron sings lead on the calypso-
like "Blue Heaven" and on the
unusually rocky "Lorelei" (inspired
by the Heine poem). The opening
track, "Gridlock," is a jazzy instru-
mental that could have been com-
posed by Elmer Bernstein for a
movie thriller. "Tombstones" has a
touch of the Clannad about it.
The Pogues celebrate diversity,
democracy and artistic eclecticism.
They dwell on the very stuff of life
- the misery, anguish, the pain, the
intermittent joys. "We're a bit cyni-
cal as individuals, I suppose," says
Jem Finer, "but we're basically ro-
mantics at heart. The human condi-
tion is a combination of misery and
joy, and the sanest way to approach
life is with humor in thetface of ad-
versity. You have to laugh, because
otherwise you'd cry." This philoso-
phy should make tonight's show an
THE POGUES with opening act
PHRANC will play tonight at the
Power Center at 8 p.m. Tickets are
As the immortal James Joyce once
said, "Well kiss my royal Irish
arse!"The Pogues are hauling their
mahones into the Power Center
tonight. Fill up on Guinness, bring
your da, and if you think of it, a
toothbrush for Shane. He left his in
the loo on the Dublin-Holyhead ferry,
apparently. Phranc, just your
"average, all-American Jewish les-
bian folksinger," opens up the
show, performing songs from her
new release, / Enjoy Being a Girl,
"It's the best of both worlds," she
describes, "You take a little Pat
Boone and Fabian and you mix it
with a little Pat Suzuki and Alice
1 Faye and you get Phranc."
Be a Daily Arts staffer...
or just look
If you'd like to write for
theater, books, dance, visual arts, film, or music,
Don't stand by.
If you're ready to graduate with a BS/MS in Computer Science,
Engineering (IE, ME, EE), Marketing, Finance or Business, come to our
presentation. Don't just stand by. Stop by.
September 27, 1989
BECS Building, Room 1200
To contact us about summer intemships, work-study programs and
entry-level positions, send your resume to: Apple Computer, Inc., College
Relations, MS 39ACR, 20525 Mariani Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014.
Stop by and see us at the Career Fair.
Apple Computer has a corporate commitment to the principle
S K I L -L S
C E N T E R
EFFICIENT STUDY SKILLS - MORE FREE TIME:
The U of M's READING AND LEARNING SKILLS CENTER is offering
a Reading and Study Skills Workshop to help college students
" learn efficient reading and study strategie
r organize and plan study time
o read faster with greater comprehension
. have more time for other interests
Workshops will be held Tuesdays, Oct. 3 c Nov. 7 6
at the RLSC
For more information and to register call the RLSC
1610 Washtenaw (near Hill)
.7 : 0pm
r C .- a A
Part Time Employment
The School of Education will interview students by phone who will be
hired to call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.
" Phonathon held Sunday through Thursday, October 10 -