WAAC Member & Artist Elana Wolff shared her poem “The Way She Worked,” written for Barbara Feith and her piece “Magical Carpets,” and the comments from a U.S. poet Michael Gessner.
Comments from Michael Gessner:
Elana Wolff’s “The Way She Worked” must be among our most compelling contemporary lyrical elegies. The shift in narrative voice, gives a different (magical) point of view. The “ink” in “thinking” and “inkling,” all work together, organically displaying a nuanced poetic intelligence. The poem is, (in its’ circulation,) organic, and with its colors and sensibilities, one might successfully argue for a stream of synesthesia, especially after the (first person) turn, we are, with the speaker, transformed.
Lines reshape themselves into human figures in flight; colors in “glowing robes;” sounds in shapes reshaping themselves. This is another highly compressed poem of moderate length, and readers unfamiliar with the subject of the poem, (Barbara Feith (1927-2021,) would benefit from the originality of her work, Magical Carpets, which has been included along with the text. In addition, with the concluding lines, the poem turns once again, to include the subject of art itself, and in this way is not only a paean to the artist, but to Art:
“Rays are falling on the carpets
waiting to be claimed.
Into art does not mean out of reach.”
—Michael Gessner, author of Nightshades (BlazeVOX Books, 2022)