Question: how do the poems re-establish or forge the sense of alienation for life in this century?
I chose ‘Finch Station’ for the discussion. It can be said that this poem is trying to re-establish the negative image of ‘disability’ to positive one.
What do you imagine for disability? Unhappy? Unusual? Inconvenience? Miserable? … probably, people have a negative image for that. However, this poem treats disability very positively.
‘Berryman, his secret hope / to be visited by physical disability – Milton’s blindness, / Beethoven’s loss of hearing.’
‘The fortunate affliction / that would rescue him from the machinery of living / day-to-day and bring him to his senses.’
Disability is an identity, diversity, personality, what makes human only one. Even it sounds like kind of a gift, at least for the author and Berryman. Milton, one of the most famous person in English literature, wrote “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained” after he had gone blind. Beethoven, the well known German composer, lost his sense of hearing but composed many famous works such as “the Fifth Symphony” and “the Emperor Concerto”. And in this poem, the boy meets the girl. Disability give human many different perspectives and opportunities of life.
‘If they could hear, / would the boy and girl still reach that other place / I yearn for?’
Thank of disability, they have gotten a special skill, sense, mind, and came across. Disability is ‘a lack’ – but at the same time, it is ‘an acquisition’. This is the re-establishment of disability in this poem.
- Finch station, Steve McOrmond, 2012