Forsaking stalk and stem and their demands.
I dwell within, I wilt without, and yet,
|confessions (Photo credit: dickuhne)|
With beauty all around me,
My mind absorbs the art
Of every face that smiles
And tears my world apart.
All the trees in the yard are dead,
Bare brittle branches sway in the wind,
Lifeless on a clear, sunny day.
An old friend has inadvertently inspired me to thumb through old journals going back over two decades, even though I can't possibly be that old. I had already planned on posting a bunch of poems this month -- National Poetry Month -- but now many of those will be poems I wrote long ago, to people I haven't seen in years.
In college, I swung wide arcs from lovelorn to world-weary. Looking back, I really should have been medicated.
Here's one I wrote for Alison that she never saw:
To see her
Without my mask --
No easy task.
I sense the presence
Of my renaissance
In the curls of her hair,
In her deep brown eyes, where
I would dive and die so deep
And leave my heart there to sleep,
And with each beat my love extol --
A buried treasure in her soul.
Some people say that poetry is hard,
And they are right. The thought of rhythm, rhyme,
And form, and worse — the shadow of the Bard
Who set the standard high for all of time —
It's all enough to drive the meek away,
To lock their inner poets deep inside.
But April marks a change: It's thirty days
Of celebrating poems nationwide!
So if you've thought of writing, now and then,
From out that part inside that rarely speaks,
The time is now to grab your fav'rite pen
And write a poem in the coming weeks.
And even if your poem coughs and dies,
Success can only come to him who tries.
Today I feature a Walt Whitman poem whose opening exclamation was made famous (at least to people of my generation) by the wonderful and wonderfully sad movie Dead Poets’ Society. It appears in his famous collection Leaves of Grass in a section called “Memories of President Lincoln,” and it’s a great example of metaphor.
Today's poem comes from John Clare, an Englishman who spent a lot of time in British asylums. He couldn't always remember who he was and at times claimed to be married to women he wasn't married to, and even claimed to be Lord Byron or William Shakespeare.
Whether his poems, which were distinctly unselfconscious, were a reflection of his mental problems or an escape from them is anyone's guess. But here is one in which he recognized who he was.
Today's reading is not of my doing, but of the poet's . . . and his friends. Here is Allen Ginsberg reading his own poem, "Complaint of the Skeleton to Time," from the album The Lion For Real (and courtesy of Spotify).
As the title says, April is National Poetry Month.
Last year, I wrote a bunch of silly poems throughout the month. This year, I decided to mark the month a bit more seriously . . . and play around with some new software at home. Throughout April, I'll be featuring poetry readings here on the blog — every weekday if I can manage it. And they'll be snazzed up with background music and a little something to look at.
It's Three-Word Wednesday time, and today, we use the words douse, naughty, and pale.
My triumphal (or at least monumphal) return to three-word Wednesday begins with the words heave, ponder, and valid. So here's a limerick for you:
A Three-Word Wednesday sonnet. Today's words are dismal, luscious, and waffle.
The luscious colors of a well-made page
Bedazzle eyes that stare into the screen
That mirrors back this electronic age
When beauty, with a single click, is seen.
An editor knows how to wrangle
Participles that just want to dangle,
And your abnormal text
Will be lavished, not hexed,
If you hire a pro to untangle.
|Mitt Romney and Barack Obama sing|
"Ebony and Ivory" to thousands of adoring fans.
Today's Three-Word Wednesday words are error, jingle, and vindicate. Here's a poem about something that really gets to me about the Republican robber barons who are trying to dictate what America is. It's called...
The gold that jingles on your wrist
Is not sophistication.
The hour a day you spend at "work"
Is not a vindication.
The family wealth in offshore banks
Is not an indication
That you are living your life Right,
Or that your soul is virgin white,
Or that you should sleep well at night.
If you can look upon a child
Who lives her life in terror
And think that this so human world
Could not be any fairer,
And that you earned all that you have,
Then you would be in error
About the sum of your true worth,
Th' importance of your sacred birth,
And why you're here upon this Earth.
Mother's Day weekend rolled around once again, and I found myself scrambling for some sort of gift to give my mother to let her know . . . you know . . . the type of things you're supposed to let your mother know on Mother's Day. Like, my favorite movie and how regular I've been and stuff.
But I've been on the low side of broke for a little while now, so my options were rather limited. So I did what any thoughtful, loving, 10-year-old son would do: I wrote my mom a poem and put it in a card.
A late-night three-word Wednesday post. Better late than never!
Today's words are bloody, kinky, and tender, which may also be the title of the next Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Here, though, we visit a couple who are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye.
The lawyer gave up his dependence
On the love of his rich, aging parents.
In his rumpled old shirt
He kept trying to flirt,
But the best girls were always defendants.