C.R. Resetarits’s poems “Rapunzel” and Valence” appear in Volume 36. The Worcester Review is excited to welcome here as our first contributor spotlight from this year’s publication!
“Rapunzel” is a short yet dense poem, conveying a lot of emotion through descriptive imagery, especially color. When you were writing this how did you decide the exact image that you wanted to show? Did you start off with a vision in your head and have to figure out the words you would use or vice versa?
This poem developed on a wintery drive along the Taconic Parkway. The day was overcast and threatening in a lovely way. The evergreens were heavy with snow, the hardwoods iced, and then around a corner this enormous, strange willow. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it until I had the idea of the pale, blondish willow as Rapunzel and it developed back from there to the evergreens cradling snow and the hardwoods glistening in ice.
The first line of your poem “Valence” is very powerful: “Back when you were taking drugs you were like a drug for me.” Do you think that love can make independent people dependent on one another or does it just feel that way?
Yes? I do believe that for some people, feeling is fate, and some seemingly independent individuals are dependent on, under the spell of, their own idiosyncratic quest for the romance of love.
People would like to think that interpersonal relationships aren’t nearly as “addicting” as vices like drinking or using narcotics, but sometimes they are more so. When we hear about someone in a situation like this we assume it isn’t going to end well, or is that just me?
I think Romeo and Juliet might agree with you … if they were still around. But there are other types of romantic pilgrims who only half-desire a permanent fix to love and find the romance and the high of love both overwhelming and transitory, which can be addicting in its own way.
Can you tell me a little about your poetry collection Brood?
I love the way some words in English have meaning as both noun and verb. Like two-sides of one coin. Brood the word and Brood my collection are like that, I hope, allowing the people, places, and things of my world – my brood of family, poems, birds, old roads – to interact through my process of fretting, brooding, sulking, writing.
What are some of your favorite books that have been published in the last year?
Mark Doty’s Deep Lane: Poems. I feel like he sees things the way I do, only so much better. I’ve also been reading around in The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy, a poet from the 1920s whose poems were re-released this year. The familiar/foreignness of her poems and life and era are evocative.