According to some definitions, prose was once considered tired, dull writing, without much consideration or thought in composition. No meter, no rhyme, not lyrical or classically pleasing. Later, prose was described as words in order, and poetry was words in their best order, or some such. Raymond Carver wrote prose. He distinguished himself by writing both prose and poetry very well. As he liked to do, we will use simple words here to describe a very complicated man desiring the basics. Not contrived in using words, he displayed genuine talent and heartfelt emotions as he wrote of new paths and waterfalls.
He wrote of the need to be beloved more than any need he had desired on this earth. He wrote these things, then unstrung them into lines divided from themselves in strophes and stanzas to become poetry; not redundant with excess punctuation and rhyme. His work still lyrical, classical, and sometimes rhymed. The majority of his work was about everyday truths. A true creative being, he took these simple lines unstrung and verbally painted as an artist on the page. Life and love the subject of his text, his yearnings the context. And for these unstrung lines, we call this writer a poet. Each line unstrung, but tied together memorably. Impact with the words first letting our eyes flow past these meanings and images he hid there inside those lines. Both poet and reader finding more emotion and images between the lines with each reading. Standing the test of time, we want to read him over and over.
Carver pulled out these words and impact phrases for all the world to see in his simple but deeper meanings. Yet, much of his poetry was dedicated to simple truths. He set the stage but left us to let our minds wander further afield with the proper poignant prodding. He was, after all, a simple man, educated, gone back to basics as he learned the value of coping, living life, loving, dying and learning to be loved. He was driven in his pen’s desire to have others see his heart. And in doing this, he gave us love by sharing the love he had found. There were lines and hints of romance, contentment, needs beyond high-flung desires. His real passion for life rings true enough as we read him again and again. We come to understand that this man gave us himself, after finding himself. We appreciate this in the words of real love for his mate-lover-wife who inspired him. His tribute to her in words as she made him feel he was finally beloved. His most sought after treasure in “Late Fragment”, being beloved.
We want to learn of that passion, the soul mates that came together with these two so that we might also have this poetical magic. We want to journey with him, feel the love, let it become a part of us as we read and digest his poetry. We read again and again until we sop ourselves in what he seemed to have. We also become sure, as he also realized, that he was beloved. We learn to make this belovedness our own with someone with honest passion. We are learning human beings, searching for truths, realizing them when something is repeated often enough in rhymes or the simple lines that ring true, just like the repetition in this piece. More true with each reading we do. No one can force us. We rebel otherwise. We learn when we are ready, after we have found the catalyst to work and share together.
We find the true mate, partner, soulmate of our choice when both recognize the other — if we are very fortunate. Maybe, just maybe we might if we just prepared ourselves well to open our hearts by reading poets like Carver. We accept these words we choose to read again and again as poetry. We learn to accept another’s honest words. We enjoy just as simple or as complicated as the phrase we repeat that trips mantra-like off our tongues from memory, and then in our own real feelings of I LOVE YOU. Three very powerful little or large words. The combinations can make our lives spent in great happiness or devastate us, as in: I love you, I love her, I love him. Only the context, direction and visual expression help us really comprehend and appreciate these words fully. Carver left no doubt in the end what he felt about these three words.