Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Breaking Free...

For National Poetry Month, a poem that reminds me of the power of the mind, of the inner self, of the ability to travel mentally, when I am trapped inside my house in this season of isolation:

"The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain"
by Wallace Stevens

There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

National Poetry Month: A Poem for Spring

"Springtime Near Vetheuil" by Monet


By William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Celebrating National Poetry Month, 2020

My favorite literary celebration of the year begins today! Grab your nearest poet and give them a hug to celebrate them and their efforts to express all things humanity.

The best of poems require our full attention, a moment's lingering devotion. They do not give up all their gems at once, but a little at a time. After a little effort from us, the facets are uncovered, and the beauty and value of the jewel before us takes our breath away.

So to kick things off, a stunning, challenging poem by one of my all-time favorite poets:

"Crow Song"
by Margaret Atwood

In the arid sun, over the field
where the corn has rotted and then
dried up, you flock and squabble.
Not much here for you, my people,
but there would be

In my austere black uniform
I raised the banner
which decreed Hope
and which did not succeed
and which is not allowed.
Now I must confront the angel
who says Win,
who tells me to wave any banner
that you will follow

for you ignore me, my
baffled people, you have been through
too many theories
too many stray bullets
your eyes are gravel, skeptical,

in this hard field
you pay attention only
to the rhetoric of seed
fruit stomach elbow.

You have too many leaders
you have too many wars,
all of them pompous and small,
you resist only when you feel
like dressing up,
you forget the sane corpses...

I know you would like a god
to come down and feed you
and punish you. That overcoat
on sticks is not alive
                                 there are no angels,
but the angels of hunger,
prehensile and soft as gullets
                                 Watching you
my people, I become cynical,
you have defrauded me of hope
and left me alone with politics...

(published in Poetry, February 1974)

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Far Field

Image from my Facebook Author page

Roethke's poem "The Far Field" remains one of my all-time favorite poems. Entire work HERE. You know, there are those few books or poems, out of the millions, that grab onto us so tightly that we just keep returning to them.

And the best of those contribute something and fresh new every time.