Don't even try. If you did it would be like reading a box score instead of going to the ballgame with its crowd noise, green grass and smell of hot dogs The inexplicable is an honorable state. Take my shirt, for instance,...please. Or that cauliflower soufflé I had on Thanksgiving. They can be described but not explained.
Or more importantly music from Mozart to Thelonious Monk or a Pollock painting, even a Hopper. If we look for the recognizable we are lost. If Nijinsky or Astaire were reduced to words they would be lame on arrival.
Likewise a poem. Poetry's palette is, of course, words but it breaks them free of the dictionary. Eliot called a poem a raid on the inarticulate. Words fly. The right words in the best order provide flight and may drop you in the Rubicon where you can gurgle and flail trying to figure out what it all means or float to the other shore on its lift.
I think of the character in Mel Brooks', High Anxiety when he says, I got it, I got it, I got it. I don't got it. Any attempt to extrude the meaning, rationally, only diminishes the experience of the work.
Naturally there is a place for the rational. We become our best critics and that voice gets integrated into the creative process. It steers us away from missteps, weighs words and filters redundancies. But the work itself is enriched by leaps, inconsistencies and unexpected, unaccountable turns.
Page, canvas or in the ether, Art takes us to another country in which we have no fluency other than the terms of its own language. If a poem could be explicated in prose it should have remained a paragraph such as this one.
Too many of us read poetry the way we listen to the 6 o'clock news. The only news it offers is that, without which. people die miserably every day.
If we let the words wash over us like Wallace Stevens'late coffee and oranges on a sunny chair or Peggy's wandering shoes reform the alphabet or …lines drive water through the rock to opal, the sounds and images are transport enough.
Peggy's poetry doesn't tell. It suggests, offers a glimpse through ellipsis and withholding. Their portals do not always open easily but they are worth the effort and you are made richer for it. Eventually the analytical mind yields the floor. As one door closes, another opens. After the final No there is a Yes. (W.S.) I don't got it, I don't got, I don't got it. I got it.