Cherry Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017

Today is Random Acts of Poetry Day.

I think you’re supposed to write poetry on post-its and photos and leave it stickied or scattered around, but that seems to me to be self-serving littering.  Let’s face it, most people are not good poets.  I, for example, suck at poetry.  Love it, can’t write it.  But oh, do I love it.

Robert Frost was evidently a bastard to live with, but he wrote beautiful poetry.  Every place I’ve ever lived, I’ve painted or posted my favorite lines of his on a wall (it’s from “Two Tramps at Mudtime”):

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

The whole poem is incredibly beautiful, but it’s those last lines that gave me my life philosophy on work: if I can’t be passionate about what I need to do, I need to do something I’m passionate about instead.   Yes, I know that’s impossible for most people, I’m just happy it’s worked out for me twice.  

So how are you going to commit random acts of poetry?  Posting some here is a non-littering method.  I’m going to try to figure out where in my practically wall-less off I can put those four lines (there are walls, there are just windows and doors in 90% of them).  Maybe on a Post-It . . .

68 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017

  1. I learned that I better poetry in my second language than my first, English.

    No random acts of poetry from me.

    Maybe I’m shallow. But I do enjoy some Kipling, misogynistic, colonial that he was.

    I haven’t had much time for poetry recently. Will put it on the list for December vacation.

    1+

    1. He is such a colonial but he treats Indians as human beings in a way that no one else was.

      Even in his poetry.

      “For there is neither East nor West
      Nor border nor breed nor birth,
      When two strong men come face to face
      Though they come from the ends of the earth”

      I always remember Without Benefit of Clergy & London’s The Wife of a King – as stories that show the wrong of the system.

      4+

        1. Do you find he’s more believable when he’s writing that kind of story than when he’s doing the later poet laureate stuff? Or is just me?

          0

  2. What about a custom window sticker? There are a lot of companies that make vinyl stickers that can be easily applied or removed.

    1+

  3. Some would distinguish nothing here but oaks,
    Proud heads conversant with power and glory
    Of heaven’s rays or heaven’s thunderstrokes,
    and adumbrators to the understory,
    Where in shade, small trees of modest leanings
    Contend for light and are content with gleanings.

    And yet here’s dogwood: overshadowed, small,
    But not inclined to droop and count its losses,
    It cranes its way to sunlight after all,
    And paints the air of May with Maltese crosses.
    And here’s witch hazel, that from underneath
    great vacant boughs will bloom in winter’s teeth.

    Given a source of light so far away
    That nothing, short of tall, comes very near it,
    Would it not take a proper fool to say
    That any tree has not the proper spirit?
    Air, water, earth and fire are to be blended,
    but no one style, I think, is recommended.

    Richard Wilbur
    A Wood

    5+

  4. Are there any Lyn Lifshin readers out there? She’s a marvelous poet, and about a million years ago I read one of hers that ended with “I’d have to be famous instead.” I’ve always loved it, but the book is lost in time and I can’t find any reference to it on the net. Anybody?

    0

  5. It’s amazing how forceful poetry can be. I used to teach the WWI poets and couldn’t get through the lecture without crying. Wilfred Owen. Rupert Brooke. I still think Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning” is a perfect love poem. But I also love “On His Mistress Going To Bed” which is Donne thinking lustful thoughts while his lover undresses. It’s fairly bawdy and the great thing is that he knows her nudity makes him an idiot and he’s fine with that. I remember teaching the conceit, which is a metaphor that’s extended so far that it needs real thought to make the connection, and there’s a line, “Oh, America, my new found land!” when he sees her breasts (too far away, dangerous to go there, excellent for exploring and exploiting for riches . . .) that absolutely cracked up my college kids even though it was written over 400 years ago.

    I remember teaching Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee” to high school kids, and being fairly bored by it until one of the boys, not a particularly sensitive kid, said, “I’d kill to have a girl say that to me,” and I realized I’d grown numb to the power that he could see instantly. Browning’s Sonnet 14 is one that gets me, a poem against conditional love: “If thou must love me, let it be for nought except for Love’s sake only. . . .” I should use that when I teach writing love, it’s just so perfect. And of course I LOVE the structure of poetry; the sonnet may be the most perfect form of poetry ever devised, but I’m open to others. There’s a poem, I think it’s by Hopkins, that’s about his inability to lift his prayers to God, and the last line of every stanza clunks because it can’t rise; he deliberately flattens the last line so that reader experiences his frustration and disconnect. It’s brilliant. And then the last line scans. So lovely.

    And now I must go paint some shelves.

    5+

      1. Honestly, the workroom is so full of texture and color right now, it would just disappear.

        I have a plaque in Krissie’s room (and I am SO not a plaque person) that says, “I have loved the stars too fondly to be frightened of the night.” I think I’ll find a way to do something small.

        (The poem is “The Old Astronomer” by Sarah Williams: “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;/I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

        3+

  6. I have always loved “Do not go gentle into that good night” and yet when my father died he wanted to go—he had lived a long and full life and he was ready—and my mother and sisters were not. I realized I don’t actually agree with that poem. Maybe I will try to write one about facing ones end with courage and peace and satisfaction in a life well lived.

    On the other hand, many years ago my husband found and gave me this poem by Seamus Heaney and it has been exactly true for us:

    Masons, when they start upon a building,
    Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

    Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
    Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

    And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
    Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

    So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
    Old bridges breaking between you and me

    Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
    Confident that we have built our wall.

    7+

  7. This is my all-time favourite, desert island poem

    And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
    That appeared once, still wet
    As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
    And, touched, coddled, began to live
    In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
    Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
    “We are, ” they said, even as their pages
    Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
    Licked away their letters. So much more durable
    Than we are, whose frail warmth
    Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
    I imagine the earth when I am no more:
    Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
    Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
    Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
    Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.

    Czeslaw Milosz

    4+

  8. I love poetry, and write it passably well but rarely (unless you count rhyming spells as poems, in which case I have books full of them). Here’s one only slightly misshapen attempt:

    I used to write
    Poetry
    In my younger years

    All angst
    And love and loss
    And occasionally–a tree
    Or something else inspiring

    It wasn’t bad
    Truly

    Although probably not great
    Either

    These says I write
    Spells
    Instead

    Somber, joyful
    Useful and sacred
    Sometimes rhyming
    Sometimes not

    But always honest
    And occasionally–a tree
    Reaching up to touch the sky
    And touching
    Deity

    9+

  9. In an Irish Lit class I wrote an essay comparing two translations of a poem from Irish to English (I have one translation but not the other and can’t find it on line so I won’t post it) and I got a call from my TA for that class a few days later. She told me she loved my paper and gave me an A+ on it but that I would be lucky to get a B+ on it because the professor had a weird thing about that poem (I didn’t know this) and she loved the translation that I trashed. I still have that paper somewhere.

    One of my favourite poets is Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, a modern Irish poet. This was written in Irish.

    We Are Damned, My Sisters
    (Táimid Damanta, A Dheirféaracha)

    We are damned, my sisters,
    we who swam at night
    on beaches, with the stars
    laughing with us
    phosphorescence about us
    we shrieking with delight
    with the coldness of the tide
    without shifts or dresses
    as innocent as infants.
    We are damned, my sisters.

    We are damned, my sisters,
    we who accepted the priests’ challenge
    our kindred’s challenge: who ate from destiny’s dish
    who have knowledge of good and evil
    who are no longer concerned.
    We spent nights in Eden’s fields
    eating apples, gooseberries; roses
    behind our ears, singing songs
    around the gipsy bon-fires
    drinking and romping with sailors and robbers:
    and so we are damned, my sisters.

    We didn’t darn stockings
    we didn’t comb or tease
    we knew nothing of handmaidens
    except the one in high Heaven.
    We preferred to be shoeless by the tide
    dancing singly on the wet sand
    the piper’s tune coming to us
    on the kind Spring wind, than to be
    indoors making strong tea for the men –
    and so we’re damned, my sisters.

    Our eyes will go to the worms
    our lips to the clawed crabs
    and our livers will be given
    as food to the parish dogs.
    The hair will be torn from our heads
    the flesh flayed from our bones.
    They’ll find apple seeds and gooseberry skins
    in the remains of our vomit
    when we are damned, my sisters.

    –Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, tr. Michael Hartnett

    9+

  10. Poetry is a very personal experience, I believe? This never fails to cheer me up:

    Razors pain you;
    Rivers are damp;
    Acids stain you;
    And drugs cause cramp.
    Guns aren’t lawful;
    Nooses give;
    Gas smells awful;
    You might as well live.

    “Resume”, Dorothy Parker, 1956

    6+

  11. I have always loved the silence in this.

    Distance
    is where we were
    but empty of us and ahead of
    me lying out in the rushes thinking
    even the nights cannot come back to their hill
    any time

    I would rather the wind came from outside
    from mountains anywhere
    from the stars from other
    worlds even as
    cold as it is this
    ghost of mine passing
    through me

    I know your silence
    and the repetition
    like that of a word in the ear of death
    teaching
    itself
    itself
    that is the sound of my running
    the plea
    plea that it makes
    which you will never hear
    oh god of beginnings
    immortal

    I might have been right
    not who I am
    but all right
    among the walls among the reasons
    not even waiting
    not seen
    but now I am out in my feet
    and they on their way
    the old trees jump up again and again
    strangers
    there are no names for the rivers
    for the days for the nights
    I am who I am
    oh lord cold as the thoughts of birds
    and everyone can see me

    Caught again and held again
    again I am not a blessing
    they bring me
    names
    that would fit anything
    they bring them to me
    they bring me hopes
    all day I turn
    making ropes
    helping

    My eyes are waiting for me
    in the dusk
    they are still closed
    they have been waiting a long time
    and I am feeling my way toward them

    I am going up stream
    taking to the water from time to time
    my marks dry off the stones before morning
    the dark surface
    strokes the night
    above its way
    There are no stars
    there is no grief
    I will never arrive
    I stumble when I remember how it was
    with one foot
    one foot still in a name

    I can turn myself toward the other joys and their lights
    but not find them
    I can put my words into the mouths
    of spirits
    but they will not say them
    I can run all night and win
    and win

    Dead leaves crushed grasses fallen limbs
    the world is full of prayers
    arrived at from
    afterwards
    a voice full of breaking
    heard from afterwards
    through all
    the length of the night

    I am never all of me
    unto myself
    and sometimes I go slowly
    knowing that a sound one sound
    is following me from world
    to world
    and that I die each time
    before it reaches me

    When I stop I am alone
    at night sometimes it is almost good
    as though I were almost there
    sometimes then I see there is
    in a bush beside me the same question
    why are you
    on this way
    I said I will ask the stars
    why are you falling and they answered
    which of us

    I dreamed I had no nails
    no hair
    I had lost one of the senses
    not sure which
    the soles peeled from my feet and
    drifted away
    clouds
    It’s all one
    feet
    stay mine
    hold the world lightly

    Stars even you
    have been used
    but not you
    silence
    blessing
    calling me when I am lost

    Maybe I will come
    to where I am one
    and find
    I have been waiting there
    as a new
    year finds the song of the nuthatch

    Send me out into another life
    lord because this one is growing faint
    I do not think it goes all the way

    Words From A Totem Animal
    W.S. Merwin

    2+

  12. War poetry in grades 9 and 10 solidified my liberal leanings! I was firmly a feminist already. I think I read my first write up of Naomi Woolf early in grade 9, which is January for us.

    Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen were the ones we studied. “And the soldier’s sigh runs in blood down the palace walls.”

    Almost all Indian writing is poetry, if you consider verse to be poetry. Rhyming, singing and chanting comes easily, making Indian poetry pleasant on the ear. The great Rabrindranath Tagore is worth the time reading.

    2+

    1. Argh. Insert religious – religious writing. The Ramayana or Sri Ram Charit Manas and the Mahabharata are epic poems that inform religious and spiritual practice to this day.

      0

  13. To be of use
    BY MARGE PIERCY
    The people I love the best
    jump into work head first
    without dallying in the shallows
    and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
    They seem to become natives of that element,
    the black sleek heads of seals
    bouncing like half-submerged balls.

    I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
    who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
    who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
    who do what has to be done, again and again.

    I want to be with people who submerge
    in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
    and work in a row and pass the bags along,
    who are not parlor generals and field deserters
    but move in a common rhythm
    when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

    The work of the world is common as mud.
    Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
    But the thing worth doing well done
    has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
    Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
    Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
    but you know they were made to be used.
    The pitcher cries for water to carry
    and a person for work that is real.

    Marge Piercy, “To be of use” from Circles on the Water. Copyright © 1982

    Although the poems I have memorized are Edna St. Vincent Millay.

    No matter what I say,
    All that I really love
    Is the rain that flattens on the bay,
    And the eel-grass in the cove;
    The jingle-shells that lie and bleach
    At the tide-line, and the trace
    Of higher tides along the beach:
    Nothing in this place.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

    4+

      1. So you don’t leave the house at all? ; )

        I’d say put it on your desk but if your desk is like mine you’ll find it every 9 months and say “oh, there you are!” Then lose it again.

        I work at home a couple of days a week.

        0

        1. I hit the grocery once a week, usually on Fridays or Mondays. I meet my daughter for lunch a couple of times a month. When Krissie comes to stay, we go out a couple of times. The mail lady and UPS bring my shopping to me so there’s no need to go out. Amazon’s about to start delivering groceries. Life is good.

          The thing is, I live in paradise. It’s incredibly gorgeous here and quiet and my neighbors are lovely. I can sit on my back porch and look down through wilderness of my back yard at a lake. If I get lonely (I don’t), I can go schmooze with Kathleen across the street, or yell talk to Dennis through the Rose of Sharon or take Milton to visit Carl and Jackson (dog). And then Helen drives by and stops to chat. It’s just a marvelous place to live. There’s no reason to go anywhere else.

          Also, I have this book to finish . . . . Krissie wants to go in to the city in December, so I’m shooting for that as a rough finish time. Maybe.

          2+

          1. A completed book by December? YAY!! (Yeah I read the disclaimers–I choose to concentrate on what I want to hear.) So assuming your aim is true, about how soon could Nita be walking into my house?

            0

          2. Well, first I have to finish it. Then I have to get beta reads (which is what a lot of you have been doing with Act One, and I’ve been revising based on some of the things you said, so thank you.) Then Jen has to like it. Then they have to figure out how to market it since peope have probably forgotten my name by now. Then we have to do copy edits. Then there are the galleys. Then it has to be sent out to reviewers. Then . . .

            About a year.

            0

      2. Tape it at the top of your computer to remind you how lucky you are to love your job? I may do that myself.

        0

  14. I’m fond of Robert Browning. His poems strike me as though I’m listening to one half of a conversation, but with no barrier to understanding the interaction between the two people involved.

    Here is my favorite line:

    Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

    –Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto

    It inspires me to keep trying new things, working harder for what I want and need. Even if I don’t reach my goal, I will have gained from the effort.

    2+

  15. I have two bits of poetry that stick with me. One is Shel Silverstein:

    Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
    Listen to the DON’TS
    Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
    The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S
    Listen to the NEVER HAVES
    Then listen close to me-
    Anything can happen, child,
    ANYTHING can be

    The other is from Psalm 139. My favorite part are these verses:

    If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    Even there your hand will lead me
    and your right hand hold me fast.

    2+

    1. I love the book of Job. I love God’s voice in that book, even though He’s being a putz to Job. But really, it’s Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. Gorgeous stuff in the King James version.

      2+

      1. I think it was the poetry that enchanted me every Sunday as a child. The Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible. Then they started modernising the language, and I saw through it and left.

        5+

        1. I know it’s a bad translation, but it’s kind of a work of its own.
          One of the best bibles I own is four translations, each page divided into four parts so you can read all four at once. I can’t remember what it’s called–a comparative bible?–but it’s wonderful.

          3+

  16. October 15
    because they know
    they cannot stay
    they fade and fall
    then blow away
    because they know
    they cannot stay
    they leave
    and leave
    and leave
    from When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano
    Because children need poetry too.

    1+

  17. I saw this on a bus once – Portland was doing this program called poetry in motion – and it’s one of my favorites:

    Separation, by W.S. Merwin:
    Your absence has gone through me
    Like thread through a needle.
    Everything I do is stitched with it’s color.

    I love how in three short lines it captures how much there there is in missing someone.

    I also love this line from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline:
    “Hang there like fruit my soul/ till the tree die”

    Basically the show starts with the hero genuinely loving the princess, but also being very young about it – he talks about his love in terms of all these traits that make her desirable. And then he screws up BIG TIME, and thinks he killed her, and so he has to spend the requisite act suffering/ growing up/ realizing what a dipshit he is. Then at the end all the play’s secrets are coming out, and he finds out she isn’t dead, and she finds out he isn’t dead, and they hug – in one production I saw, the actress just launched herself at him with pure and total joy, which was perfect – and instead of busting out with a big sonnet about her eyes or whatever, like he would have at the start of the play, he just clings to her and says “Hang there like fruit my soul, till the tree die” and I just love that arc.

    4+

  18. Monet Refuses the Operation, by Lisel Mueller

    Doctor, you say there are no haloes
    around the streetlights in Paris
    and what I see is an aberration
    caused by old age, an affliction.
    I tell you it has taken me all my life
    to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
    to soften and blur and finally banish
    the edges you regret I don’t see,
    to learn that the line I called the horizon
    does not exist and sky and water,
    so long apart, are the same state of being.
    Fifty-four years before I could see
    Rouen cathedral is built
    of parallel shafts of sun,
    and now you want to restore
    my youthful errors: fixed
    notions of top and bottom,
    the illusion of three-dimensional space,
    wisteria separate
    from the bridge it covers.
    What can I say to convince you
    the Houses of Parliament dissolve
    night after night to become
    the fluid dream of the Thames?
    I will not return to a universe
    of objects that don’t know each other,
    as if islands were not the lost children
    of one great continent. The world
    is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
    becomes water, lilies on water,
    above and below water,
    becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
    and white and cerulean lamps,
    small fists passing sunlight
    so quickly to one another
    that it would take long, streaming hair
    inside my brush to catch it.
    To paint the speed of light!
    Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
    burn to mix with air
    and change our bones, skin, clothes
    to gases. Doctor,
    if only you could see
    how heaven pulls earth into its arms
    and how infinitely the heart expands
    to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

    5+

  19. I used to copy poems onto my refrigerator door in dry-erase marker. (It worked beautifully. Simple, non-permanent, easy to change for a new poem whenever I felt like it.) The one that I left there the longest was “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” by Langston Hughes, because I love the opening so much.

    The rhythm of life
    Is a jazz rhythm,
    Honey.
    The gods are laughing at us.

    The broken heart of love,
    The weary, weary heart of pain,–
    Overtones,
    Undertones,
    To the rumble of street cars,
    To the swish of rain.

    Lenox Avenue,
    Honey.
    Midnight,
    And the gods are laughing at us.

    9+

  20. My candle burns at both ends
    It will not last the night;
    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
    It gives a lovely light.

    Edna St Vincent Millay

    1+

    1. I actually have that on a candle glass. Maybe I’ll finally power through my workroom today and get that out.

      0

  21. The Pomegranate

    The only legend I have ever loved is
    the story of a daughter lost in hell.
    And found and rescued there.
    Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
    Ceres and Persephone the names.
    And the best thing about the legend is
    I can enter it anywhere. And have.
    As a child in exile in
    a city of fogs and strange consonants,
    I read it first and at first I was
    an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
    the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
    I walked out in a summer twilight
    searching for my daughter at bed-time.
    When she came running I was ready
    to make any bargain to keep her.
    I carried her back past whitebeams
    and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
    But I was Ceres then and I knew
    winter was in store for every leaf
    on every tree on that road.
    Was inescapable for each one we passed.
    And for me.
    It is winter
    and the stars are hidden.
    I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
    my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
    her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
    The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
    She could have come home and been safe
    and ended the story and all
    our heart-broken searching but she reached
    out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
    She put out her hand and pulled down
    the French sound for apple and
    the noise of stone and the proof
    that even in the place of death,
    at the heart of legend, in the midst
    of rocks full of unshed tears
    ready to be diamonds by the time
    the story was told, a child can be
    hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
    The rain is cold.The road is flint-coloured.
    The suburb has cars and cable television.
    The veiled stars are above ground.
    It is another world. But what else
    can a mother give her daughter but such
    beautiful rifts in time?
    If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
    The legend will be hers as well as mine.
    She will enter it. As I have.
    She will wake up. She will hold
    the papery flushed skin in her hand.
    And to her lips. I will say nothing.

    Eavan Boland

    5+

  22. Barbara Frietchie by John Greenleaf Whittier as Stonewall Jackson marches through Frederick, Maryland, Barbara hangs the nations flag out the attic window one of his men fires at the flag and Barbara grabs it before it hits the ground and says
    “Shoot if you must this old grey head,
    but spare your country’s flag” she said.
    To which Jackson replied
    “Who touches a hair on yon grey head
    Dies like a dog. March on!” he said

    1+

  23. I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
    (Sea Fever, John Masefield)

    3+

    1. I love that poem. It always makes me want to go sailing out in the San Juan’s. It always makes me forget that I hate the boat tilting, and the water rushing up to meet the side and the spray drenching me and the out of control feel of being in a storm and battling the water to stay alive.

      1+

    2. I built a boat this summer, and my daughter read that to me one afternoon while I was applying epoxy to something. Later I thought about it, and realized that is not why I was building a boat. So I rewrote Sea Fever:

      Pond Fever, with apologies to Mr. Masefield

      I must go out on the pond again, to the place near the shoreline’s bend
      and all I ask is a small ship, some wind, and maybe a friend;
      and the rudder bangs, and the whispered breeze, and the tan sail flapping
      and the shining sun on the midday pond, and hungry ducks quacking

      I must go out on the pond again, for the call of the being afloat
      is a strange thing, a persistent thing, and only needs a boat
      and all I ask is a breezy day, with clouds quickly skimming
      and the children shriek and the paddles flash, and the wild geese swimming

      I must go out on the pond again, but only the afternoon
      for the pond is small, and close to home, and I’ll be coming back soon
      and all I ask is a tasty supper, from the bbq shack on the way
      and a quick unload and peaceful nap, at the end of a sunny day

      4+

      1. I love this. This is my idea of sailing.
        If I ever get the steps down to the lake, I’m going to put the rowboat down there into the water, tie it to the dock, and just read in the boat.

        2+

        1. That’s how I did my revision, in my last term at Oxford. I’d book a punt for the maximum three hours, pole myself to a backwater and lie under the willows, reading. And appreciating how privileged I was.

          3+

  24. I was going to share a poem I wrote about thirty years ago when I was still writing poetry. But alas, I cannot find the book. So now I am wondering if they are lost forever.

    0

  25. Walt Whitman has some lovely bits that say a lot with few words and often catch me. Like this:

    “We were together. I forget the rest.”

    And Anne Bradstreet is interesting, too. Her “To My Dear and Loving Husband” poem still sticks with me — partly b/c the sharing of such raw feeling comes across:

    “If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
    If ever wife was happy in a man,
    Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
    I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
    Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
    My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
    Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
    Thy love is such I can no way repay;
    The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
    Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
    That when we live no more, we may live ever.”

    Think for me, some poets write some of the best romance around:)

    3+

  26. Not to add to your work load but maybe we could have poetry Tuesdays or something? I’m loving this.

    1+

      1. I was thinking once a month. I’m not much into poetry myself but it’s fun to see what other people like.

        1+

  27. Great post. Not to add to your work but this post is wonderful. Love poetry and love discovering new poets. Yes please a Tuesday is poetry or whatever day you want, if you want.

    0

  28. Robert Frost poem.
    The Rose Family
    The rose is a rose,
    And was always a rose.
    But the theory now goes
    That the apple’s a rose,
    And the pear is, and so’s
    The plum, I suppose.
    The dear only knows
    What will next prove a rose.
    You, of course, are a rose —
    But were always a rose.

    Robert Frost

    3+

  29. The only poetry that I can remember off the top of my head – and it’s not the whole peom, just the first two lines, is by Ogden Nash.

    Candy is dandy,
    but liquor is quicker.

    2+

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