- Was it for this I uttered prayers,
- And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
- That now, domestic as a plate,
- I should retire at half-past eight?
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
- Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry, The Academy of American Poets. This nifty little collection is poems to tear out, and just as the title suggest, read and carry. There is something immensely appealing to me about this whole idea.
- Seven Poets, Four Days, One Book, multiple authors. Another quirky idea for a poetry book! I'm just going to copy Amazon's little blurb to explain the idea behind the project. I think you'll agree, it sounds pretty awesome.
Lauded poet Christopher Merrill hatched a brilliant plan: invite six other poets to join him in four days of writing in Iowa City. The poets would write for 30 minutes, creating a poem of 15 lines, and then read it aloud to the group. As poets heard the poems, they noted memorable words, images, and lines, which they would borrow to insert in subsequent poems of their own. These rounds continued, until, in a process of call and response and unprecedented collaboration, 80 poems had been composed. Those 80 poems are collected in this book, penned by authors who represent some of the best and brightest the world of poetry has to offer. Transcending differences of generation, gender, language, and vision, these poets have invented an entirely new facet of the poet's creative process.
~ Amazon product description
- Richard Brautigan poetry. I am hoping to find a book of his in a moment of sweet serendipity in a used book shop or receive in some quirky fashion. It would be too easy to simply order off of Amazon.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
You're wondering if I'm lonely:
OK then, yes, I'm lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.
You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely
If I'm lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawn's first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep
If I'm lonely
it's with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it's neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
"Alas, Measured Perfectly"Richard Brautigan
Saturday, August 25, 1888. 5:20 P.M.
is the name of a photograph of two
old women in a front yard, beside
a white house. One of the women is
sitting in a chair with a dog in her
lap. The other woman is looking at
some flowers. Perhaps the women are
happy, but then it is Saturday, August
25, 1888. 5:21 P.M., and all over.
Brautigan's work is almost entirely out of print. However, cheap used copies are available on Amazon. When I get a little extra cash, I think it would be a very worthy investment for my library. I've gone through a love/hate relationship with Brautigan, but now I must simply consent to love.
P.S. This is my 99th post! 9 being my eternally lucky number, this is a particularly good day!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Aux ImagistesWilliam Carlos Williams
I think I have never been so exalted
As I am now by you,
O frost bitten blossoms,
That are unfolding your wings
From out the envious black branches.
Bloom quickly and make much of the sunshine
The twigs conspire against you
They hold you from behind
You shall not take wing
Except wing by wing, brokenly,
Shall not endure for ever.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Selecting a Reader
Ted KooserFirst, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.from Sure Signs, 1980
University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
- It's free!
- The poems are brief!
- It's contemporary poetry from all ranges and talents of poets; anywhere from a 12 year old beginner to a budding college student to a middle aged old pro.
Self-Portrait by Zozan Hawez : American Life in Poetry
Shared via AddThisAmerican Life in Poetry: Column 198
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
This column has had the privilege of publishing a number of poems by young people, but this is the first we’ve published by a young person who is also a political refugee. The poet, Zozan Hawez, is from Iraq, and goes to Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington. Seattle Arts & Lectures sponsors a Writers in the Schools program, and Zozan’s poem was encouraged by that initiative.
Self-PortraitBorn in a safe familyBut a dangerous area, Iraq,I heard guns at a young age, so youngThey made a decision to raise us safeSo packed our thingsAnd went far away.Now, in the city of rain,I try to forget my past,But memories never fade.This is my life,It happened for a reason,I happened for a reason.American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Reprinted from “We Will Carry Ourselves As Long As We Gaze Into The Sun,” Seattle Arts & Lectures, 2007, by permission of Zozan Hawez and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Friday, September 18, 2009
- Quotes: I have pages and pages of quotes on every topic imaginable. I don't know what it is I love so much about quotes. Perhaps it is the view of a quote as the best possible use of a sentence.
- Book lines: You know those lines that you hit when reading a novel that just wow you? Those lines that linger on your mind after you've put the book down? I write those down in a small book. I'm selective in my book lines. It's got to really be something to make it into my book.
- Books: There are few things I love more than books. I am not a particular fan of buying new books, and not just because of the cost. There is a certain thrill in finding the well-loved book you've been searching for amidst cluttered shelves of used books. It is nice to know someone else loved the book once too (or at least I'd like to believe). I am picky about my books. I want my shelves to be filled with books I have not only read, but loved. It's a beautiful lifetime project.
- Rocks: What child didn't collect rocks? And with my father being a geologist, it was my fate. I was always pretty choosy when it came to my rocks. Nothing boring or ordinary in my collection. I think I've still got my rocks on a shelf somewhere. Thinking back now, I realize the best ones were probably actually discovered by my dad, who was kind enough to let me claim them. Parents are great.
- Sea shells: I still collect sea shells. Since I've been to the beach so little, the few shells I have are memories of good times. In my collection I also have a few collected by good friends, and those mean even more.
- Stickers: As a child I loved, loved, loved stickers. The odd thing is I never actually did anything with my stickers. I found stickers to be messy and difficult to remove when off of their original sheet. So, I just had pages and pages of unused stickers. Long after my collecting days were over, I eventually used my stickers in craft projects with kids. I gave some away to kids I babysit, and some to a friend's little sister who collects stickers. What was the appeal of those things?
- Erasers: Another really odd childhood obsession of mine. I actually did use the erasers. I wonder what happened to all of those... I think I donated them to a thrift shop or gave them away to some little kids. The stupidest one I owned was an enormous pink eraser that read, "My Dad Never Makes Mistakes. This Is only A Paperweight." I didn't know what a paperweight was. I'm finicky about erasers. So many are too rubbery or leave unattractive streaks across the page. For years I have preferred the soft pink erasers found atop a good Ticonderoga #2. They don't call them The World's Best Pencil for nothing.
- Butterfly hair clips and assorted hair accessories: I was a victim of the nineties. I plead silence.
- Stuffed animals: I had the whole dang animal kingdom. There are still teddy bears on my bed (great to cuddle with). My favorite stuffed animals are in a drawer in my closet. Someday, they'll go to my kids. ]
- Barbies: Raise of hands please, who hates the Bratz dolls?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
From "Song of Myself"Yeah. That's all for tonight.
Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
From "Why Regret?"
Doesn't it outdo the pleasures of the brilliant concert
to wake in the night and find ourselves
holding hands in our sleep?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
by Edna St. Vincent MillayIt's little I care what path I take,And where it leads it's little I care;But out of this house, lest my heart break,I must go, and off somewhere.It's little I know what's in my heart,What's in my mind it's little I know,But there's that in me must up and start,And it's little I care where my feet go.I wish I could walk for a day and a night,And find me at dawn in a desolate placeWith never the rut of a road in sight,Nor the roof of a house, nor the eyes of a face.I wish I could walk till my blood should spout,And drop me, never to stir again,On a shore that is wide, for the tide is out,And the weedy rocks are bare to the rain.But dump or dock, where the path I takeBrings up, it's little enough I care;And it's little I'd mind the fuss they'll make,Huddled dead in a ditch somewhere."Is something the matter, dear," she said,"That you sit at your work so silently?""No, mother, no, 'twas a knot in my thread.There goes the kettle, I'll make the tea."
Monday, August 31, 2009
Today I checked out a few books of Richard Brautigan's. I'd briefly explored his poetry last year, gave up on him, and once again I have returned. It's not that I think his work is particularly good. In fact, I think most of it's pretty pathetic, cheap, and of no literary merit whatsoever. And yet, I like it. So there.
I Live in the Twentieth CenturyAnd this last one, he wrote for me. Hey thanks Brautigan! Forgive my editing.
I live in the Twentieth Century
and you lie here beside me. You
were unhappy when you fell asleep.
There was nothing I could do about
it. I felt hopeless. Your face
is so beautiful that I cannot stop
to describe it, and there's nothing
I can do to make you happy while
She tries to get things out of men
that she can't get because she's not
April 7, 1969
I feel so bad today
that I want to write a poem.
I don't care: any poem, this
All Girls Should Have a Poem
All girls should have a poem
written for them even if
we have to turn this ***** world
upside down to do it.
March 16, 1969
Sunday, August 23, 2009
All week long Hoagland's line, "Oh Life! Can you blame me / for making a scene?" has been running through my mind. It is my recent call out to the world; my mental mantra for the week. So now, dear reader, I give you the fabulous Tony Hoagland.
by Tony HoaglandDon’t take it personal, they said;but I did, I took it all quite personal—the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;the price of grapefruit and stamps,the wet hair of women in the rain—And I cursed what hurt meand I praised what gave me joy,the most simple-minded of possible responses.The government reminded me of my father,with its deafness and its laws,and the weather reminded me of my mom,with her tropical squalls.Enjoy it while you can, they said of HappinessThink first, they said of TalkGet over it, they saidat the School of Broken Heartsbut I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’tbelieve in the clean break;I believe in the compound fractureserved with a sauce of dirty regret,I believe in saying it alland taking it all backand saying it again for good measurewhile the air fills up with I’m-Sorrieslike wheeling birdsand the trees look seasick in the wind.Oh life! Can you blame mefor making a scene?You were that yellow caboose, the moondisappearing over a ridge of cloud.I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;barking and barking:trying to convince everything elseto take it personal too.
Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am currently taking a pause from reading Walt Whitman's incredibly long "Song of Myself." I have never read "Song of Myself" in its entirety, so when the assignment was given for a class to read the 1855 version, I welcomed the challenge. But oh Whitman! It is a challenge indeed! For now I rest my weary mind and direct my attention to another love of mine: the world behind the lense of camera. Recently, I have discovered the joys of the closeup function of my camera. Enjoy these pictures. Or not, I suppose. These photos are all the work of Valerie Owens. Please do not copy without permission.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"Distracted by hopefullness: That explained me to myself. I was counting days until."
~ Cynthia Voigt, Glass Mountain
"By the time I was twenty it was clear to me that I was good for--and good at--nothing else. I hated every job I had... picking cucumbers, hoeing beets, selling popcorn, lifeguarding, waitressing, selling Kentucky Fried Chicken... I knew if I were to have any chance at all for happiness in work, I had better throw myself at the writing life."
~ Louise Erdich, when asked why she decided to become a writer.
"You find beauty in ordinary things; do not lose this ability."
~ Fortune Cookie
"Cautious and stubborn, unwilling to fail,"
~ Lawrence Raab, "My Life Before I Knew It"
"The world is large, / and without a fuss has absorbed stranger things than this."
~ Sarah Lindsay, "Cheese Penguin"
"In the sanctuary of my thoughts, I am a fearless renegade."
~ Mark Dunn, Ella Minnow Pea, P. 18
"I think we are all hopelessly flawed."
~ Mr. Bhaer, in the screenplay of Little Women
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
I am grateful for:
- Sunflowers that grow by the August roadside
- Wheels on luggage
- A family that will be with me for all of eternity
- My Savior and my faith in Him
- Digital cameras and the memories they preserve
- Being young at this time and in the place
- The kindness of strangers
- The people I've met this summer
- The easy accessibility of poetry
- The opportunity for higher education
- Serendipitous moments
- The quirks and flaws of those I love
- My dearly beloved and carefully selected collection of books
- Being a sister and sister-in-law
- The miracle of cell phones
- Brown sugar and fig scented lotion
- Being an American
- The seemingly endless choices of words
- Music and how easy it is to share it.
- The chance that I have to try a new adventure this fall
- Dried roses and the memories they hold
- Time to do what I'd like with my life
- My religion
- A blow dryer and spell-check to tell me that it is two words, and not one
- Modern transportation; from mini-vans to jet planes
- The internet and the conveniences it brings
- The great unknown
- High heels
- Air conditioning
- Those who I have been lucky enough to call a friend at one point or another in my life
- Not-socks, no show socks, whatever they are called
- Snail mail
- My health
- The talents God has given me
- Summer thunderstorms
- Extended family reunions
- The faithful readers of this little blog
- Being me
- The past that has shaped the present
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The halo of the moon,--
Is it not the scent of plum-blossoms
Rising up to heaven?
From what flowering tree
I know not,--
But, ah, the fragrance!
Even when pursued,
Never appears in a hurry.
Slow days passing, accumulating,
How distant they are,
The things of the past!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Why should you believe in magic,
pretend an interest in astrology
or the tarot? Truth is, you are
free, and what might happen to you
today, nobody knows. And your
personality may undergo a radical
transformation in the next half
hour. So it goes. You are consumed
by your faith in justice, your
hope for a better day, the rightness
of fate, the dreams, the lies,
the taunts. —Nobody gets what he
wants. A dark star passes through
you on your way home from
the grocery: never again are you
the same—an experience which is
impossible to forget, impossible
to share. The longing to be pure
is over. You are the stranger
who gets stranger by the hour.
In "Consumed" I particularly love the second to last stanza. In his own words, Tate summarizes what his poetry is to me; "an experience which is impossible to forget, impossible to share." Try as I might, I don't have the words to fully share my experience with Tate's poetry. Thus, you will have to have your own experience and see just what he's all about. The greatest thing? He's hilarious. Who says poetry can't be fun?
Monday, June 15, 2009
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
Image from http://www.usm.maine.edu
I posted Millay's "Recuerdo" a couple months ago, but other than that I have been largely unfamilar with her work. There is so much Millay I would love to post. But for today I give you "The Philosopher."
Edna St. Vincent MillayAnd what are you that, wanting you,
I should be kept awake
As many nights as there are days
With weeping for your sake?
And what are you that, missing you,
As many days as crawl
I should be listening to the wind
And looking at the wall?
I know a man that's a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?
Yet women's ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,—
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Summertime. I love summer nights. The past couple nights I've driven my car out to a good view of the sunset. I've parked and read poetry aloud, letting my little car absorb my words. Oh what poems that car has heard!
Whitman is a recent favorite of mine. I reread Mary Downing Hahn's The Wind Blows Backward just a few short weeks ago. The novel was loaded with Whitman's work. It launched me into giving him a closer look. There is something so moving, so raw, so familiar about Whitman. I hope you enjoy tonight's poem. It certainly lingered in my mind long after I read it.
Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?
ARE you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant
manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real
Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Photo by: Valerie Owens
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Those Winter Sundays"Love's austere and lonely offices." I love that line. Today is Mother's Day and I'm thinking of the many austere and lonely offices my mother's love holds--the things for which she is never thanked. I would like to thank her for a great deal of many things, like roses in the garden, music on the piano, and meals on the table. I would like to thank her for smiles, hugs, laughter, and beauty. It is her quirks that I love, like the way she leaves a dozen pairs of reading glasses scattered throughout the house. Or, her forgetful moments and silly sayings that she kindly lets us chide her about. I know little of love's austere and lonely offices, but I do know my mother is a good woman and I love her for this goodness.
Robert HaydenSundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?
Also, search this blog for Owen Sheers' "Not Yet My Mother" and Billy Collins' "Lanyard," both posted last May, and Collins again just recently. Great poems with a nod to mothers.
And to my sister, thank you for reading this little blog of mine.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
So tonight, a little Walt Whitman.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
I chose this poem because these are the years, most of all, to be "ceaselessly musing" and "venturing" and forming the bridge of my life, the anchor of who I am. I suppose my whole life should be filled with ceaseless musing, but I feel now is most important and most opportune to do so.
And lastly, two quotes.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ Mark Twain
This is the place where I learned to live this life, to curse this life and to claim this life for my very own.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So why then am I not posting poetry about spring? Because I'm finicky and want to post this one. I enjoy the feel of the poem, that melancholy beauty that prevails through life.
RecuerdoNothing explicitly states the two as lovers, but it can be felt. I enjoy the tangibility of their relationship. I would like a lover such as that. I am waiting for a man who likes long drives, blue skies, sunsets, and star gazing. I am waiting for the man who likes to rest his head upon my lap, while I idly read poetry, sitting against a tree with the grass beneath and the blue sky above me. But, I'd be happy with the guy who is able to smile about my love for poetry without understanding, just as I will smile about his love for basketball, or whatever it might be.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
WE were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.
We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.
We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.
And that has nothing to do with anything. Apologies for the scattered nature of recent posts.
Monday, April 20, 2009
On second thought, I don't really want to post "Fork." But, dear reader, if you so desire you are welcome to seek this poem out on your own. Its just a little long, and if you are like me, longer poems often take patience I do not possess. In fact, I wouldn't have ever taken note of "Fork" were it not read a class I'm currently taking.
So how about I admit to lameness and not post a poem this month? To make up for this atrocious entry, I will post a truly beautiful quote.
I have sometimes dreamt...that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards--their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon impershable marble--the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, "Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading."
~ Virginia Woolfe, The Second Common Reader
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I Go Back to May 1937
by Sharon Olds
I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,I see my father strolling outunder the ochre sandstone arch, thered tiles glinting like bentplates of blood behind his head, Isee my mother with a few light books at her hipstanding at the pillar made of tiny bricks,the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, itssword-tips aglow in the May air,they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they areinnocent, they would never hurt anybody.I want to go up to them and say Stop,don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,he’s the wrong man, you are going to do thingsyou cannot imagine you would ever do,you are going to do bad things to children,you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,you are going to want to die. I want to goup to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,her hungry pretty face turning to me,her pitiful beautiful untouched body,his arrogant handsome face turning to me,his pitiful beautiful untouched body,but I don’t do it. I want to live. Itake them up like the male and femalepaper dolls and bang them togetherat the hips, like chips of flint, as if tostrike sparks from them, I sayDo what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Edgar Allan PoeIt was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the nighttide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea.
There are slight variations in the version posted than one might be familiar with. I refer to The Mentor Book of Major American Poets, edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig for this version.
In comparison to "Annabel Lee," check out Frank Desprez's "Lasca." I'm curious if any one else was struck by similarity between the two.
Monday, February 9, 2009
I am currently taking an Intro to Poetry class. Initially I was disappointed to find there is no writing of poetry in this class, only writing about poetry. But as the class has progressed, I have loved delving deep into the mechanisms of poetry.
One particular poem has recently stuck out to me,
Dulce et Decorum Est
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
I love the vibrant imagery of the poem--violent though it be. It's real, it's passionate, and in it's own way, beautiful. What do you think of it?
- 1 DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI: Latin for, "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."