Bernadette Mayer’s «Midwinter Day»: Dream of the («Extra»)Ordinary. 1. Imagining her self or, more specifically, how words have the power to give texture and. Midwinter Day [Bernadette Mayer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Perhaps Bernadette Mayer’s greatest work, Midwinter Day was written. I had an idea to write a book that would prove the day like the dream has everything in it.” — Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day Today marks.

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Most of the pages are filled with trivial things: The fiction of the book leads the reader to imagine that the dday poem is constructed while the day goes on, but in fact the writer needs the time and solitude to recollect and arrange the events that mater up the poem.

Mayer’s record-keeping and use of stream-of-consciousness narrative are two trademarks of her writing, though she is also known for her work with form and mythology. Mayer expresses a certain ambivalence about the cycles of her own life – her home, her town – day after day the same sights, the same relationships, the same actions – and yet there is something profoundly wonderful in every moment.

Review – Bernadette Mayer, ‘Midwinter Day’

With her hyper-autobiographical subject matter and her painstaking attention to detail, Mayer attempts to capture the experience of daily life in her poem, without destroying it. The work starts off a little slow, and continues to trudge miswinter until the end. The two opposing poles become then the safety of the family unit locked in the house and the threat of moving out of that safety where death or betrayal lurks around the bednadette.

At the age of 27, Mayer embarked on a conceptual art piece exploring memory that involved color snapshots and 7 hours of taped narration. She moves from formal to free verse and puts both forms side by side, demonstrating her ability to work this experiment in both modes. It often felt like a friend who had gone way off tangent and I could not get them back.


This work steps outside the boundaries of traditional history, literature, and mythology challenging the reader to trace a feminine perspective through the dailiness of mothering coupled with the sacred act of creating and the mysterious investigation into the psychoanalytical exploration of dreams and memory.

And love, love is a theme that Mayer explores again and again prompting the sense that this is indeed a romantic text and not simply a stoic experiment or writing exercise. Dau that’s what you get here: At the same time, Mayer again links the difficulty of recreating any story with the threat of extinction in the natural world. The letter opens with references to synesthesia, a term used to define people who interpret the world through a combination or overlapping of sensory preceptors.

We Midwinter is presented as an epic poem, yet the closing thoughts by Mayer call it an essay. If one relates to a poem they are more likely to connect to what is said and feel moved.

The metaphor is that writing is a game that through the use of memory can somehow be played to ward off death. These two parts representing the interior life of the family at morning and at evening bookend the middle part three, which occurs exclusively outside of the home focusing on family errands and the history and mapping of the town. Jan 19, Tom rated it it was amazing Midwinfer For other readers, brenadette will be a masterpiece.

Mayer not only asks what language is capable of, but she also asks what poetry is capable of as well.

Mayer does not just record that her child had a tantrum in the public library, instead she brings us into the emotion, into the chaos and the middwinter showing how language can go into an experience rather than simply retell the experience. Jul 26, Mitch rated it it was amazing.

I think on balance I loved it.

Midwinter Day

Aug 29, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: But I make the case that Mayer not only draws upon the resources of this lineage, but also offers a powerful retort, a bracing corrective to its failures and limitations.

The traditional epic themes of action and struggles to overcome are not found here, and unlike other long poems by Pound, Eliot or Williams, Midwinter Day circles closer and closer into the intimate view of the family rather than out towards an all encompassing view of history or the tale of the tribe. Marie builds a farm from blocks, she puts two cows in a stall. As well she refers to the magical quality the poem has; it becomes a way of survival or in other words the memories laid out in the bernadettte work as a talisman to ward off death.


ALL THE FEMINIST BOOKS: Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer – WEIRD SISTER

We didn’t exactly have a ‘philosophy’ or a manifesto or anything, but we did have a sort of general attitude, cay I’m not sure we ever spelled out. She uses the letter as a way to further examine her experiment: Mayer claims that poetry can represent this everydayness and pushes her reader to stay invested in the experiment of seeing how language can transform the most ordinary into a beautiful meditation on life. Exactly thirty-six years later, I decided to re read the poem under comparable circumstances.

Language has the power to mould and disrupt. As such passages suggest, Mayer casts off the strictures of poetic convention as too limiting to capture the variety and complexity of daily life. A long poem about a short day, Mayer’s six-part work purports to document the daily routine of the woman writer raising children.

Mayer layers story upon story to flesh out the workings of the mind and how integral the act of telling and retelling is to life. In the last stanza, Mayer recognizes both the end of this day and this experiment: My Review, as poem: Little more than pages and pages of free-writing, Mayer would like to pass this off as some innovative, poetic experiment.

And on it goes for another page and a half of unbroken prose, this careful and loving scrutiny of the messy but vibrant domestic space.

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