Thursday, June 2, 2016

Poetry Month, Day 2 - The poems of Lois Wyse, collected in _Are You Sure You Love Me?_

My lovely wife picked up several very odd collections of poetry at the local library sale. I'll be dipping into them throughout the month, probably. This is a collection of poetry published in 1969 by Lois Wyse, the wife of Marc A. Wyse, president of Wyse Advertising. I'm sure that has nothing to do with why this collection was published...

Based on this book, Wyse wrote short, almost epigrammatic, poetry, shot through with a certain quantity of long married bitterness. I'll offer you my two favorite poems from the collection.


I closed the door
And crawled into my bed
And from a million thousand miles
I heard you
And sigh.


I wrote three thank-you notes
(I wonder if you're having dinner now),
Talked to Marianne
(Did you go to the theatre?)
Told the children to do their homework
(Who is that with you?)
And planned a dinner for 16.

I read an article on memory pills
(Did you remember to take a raincoat?)
Forgot to water the plants
(Is he cold? Is he warm? Is he tired?)
And then you called.
"Funny thing, dear, I just this minute happened to be thinking of you."

These are the best poems from the collection, I think. Otherwise, it's a fairly mixed bag. Wyse has a wry voice, and likes to play with typography - very short lines, or sprawling the poem across the whole page. There is a certain, as I mentioned, bitterness that goes well with the wry tone. There isn't anything spectacular about this collection. This is not a volume for the ages, but I'm not sad I read it.