This week we are all sharing thoughts on ‘new beginnings’ and poetry. One would think this would be an easy topic because there are so.many.poems about beginning.
At first I thought that I’d share the poem that took my hand and began my love of poetry. It is a lovely poem by Derek Walcott called Love After Love. Kym shared it on her blog a few years ago during April. I printed it out and it is on the board by my desk. I read it often. It is an excellent poem to read to yourself or better yet, listen to Tom Hiddleston read it here.
And as excellent as that poem is, I thought to myself that I should read more poems and find another that speaks to me about another beginning. Thanks to Sylvia Plath I did not have to look far. I found her poem, Morning Song and thought this is the most excellent beginning… the birth of a child. Ms. Plath reminded me of those all those feelings when I brought my Rachel home from the hospital 32 years ago. Honestly, it was such a scary thought… I was responsible for this tiny little baby! A new beginning for both of us!
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
Sylvia Plath, “Morning Song” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath.
Please go and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah are sharing today!
I will be back next week for Unraveled Wednesday!
Cut and secure the front steek. — Mary Jane Mucklestone, Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No. 17, Lopi
The fear is real!
I don’t think it matters how many times you have knit a sweater that requires steeking, it always is a nerve-racking experience. I mean, take a scissors and cut your knitting? Seriously?
A pullover becomes a cardigan… snip, snip, snip!
And despite the nerves… it is like magic. My previous favored mode for steeking was Ysolda’s method described here. But I am having some fears about having enough yarn to knit the two button bands so I was not willing to waste any on crocheting. And you know what? It just might have won me over! It worked very well!
But those floats! Gah, I just love them!
Said sweater had a little spa treatment after steeking and is drying… sigh. I am hopeful that I will be able to start the button bands today!
But let’s talk about that ribbon, shall we?
Winston’s mom has been sending me links to Etsy shops that had fabric that she thought might be perfect for hats! AND!! One of those shops had ribbon! The ribbon is just luscious! It is not stiff at all, and the colors!! Once I have those button bands done I will be carefully stitching it over the steeked edges. I almost want to wear the sweater inside out so everyone sees this ribbon! LOL
Soon to be hats for Winston!
I tried to patiently wait for my Daytripper to dry, really I did! But I gave in and cast on my Marled Purl Strings! I love how this sweater starts out! Last week Jane asked what my yarn was… it is Holst Garn Coast. If you have not tried knitting with Coast… you should immediately remedy that! It is lovely and it wears beautifully! Just enough cotton to be a summer sweater and just enough wool to hold its shape incredibly well!
Purl Strings No. 2 is underway!
I also want to wind up a skein of Miss Babs Deep Sea Jellyfish sock yarn so I can cast on Carole’s Picot Edge Socks. (Ravelry link, sorry about that!) Anyways, I am in need of a “semi-mindless” knit and these socks are so much fun! Enough to keep your attention but a sock that you don’t have to be focused on every stitch!
The reading this week though!
Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is a collection of essays about nature (and us, in a way) I enjoyed Macdonald’s storytelling but I did not always connect with her thoughts. However it is beautifully written and I recommend it!
In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World by Pádraig Ó Tuama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are some books that seem to have been written for you, this was that book for me. It was exactly what I needed and the words were a balm to my spirit. If you are in need of reassurance in a sea of doubt – read this book. If you are questioning life – read this book. If you are feeling lost – read this book. If you just want to get lost in the beauty of the writing – read this book.
I highly recommend!
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really wanted to love this book like I loved 84, Charring Cross Road… but, sadly, I didn’t. I missed the dialog back and forth… though there were funny moments. This is a journal of Helene Hanff’s trip to London… some of which I find incredibly implausible! (I mean who has a hysterectomy and even feels like doing anything, much less a transatlantic trip!) It also made me wince a bit at the embarrassing Americanism in it. (give out my address and phone number because they will buy me dinner… so tacky.) My recommendation is to absolutely read 84, Charring Cross Road but skip this book.
That is all I have for today! What about you? Do you have any book recommendations this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
I have no idea who “Maxine” is, but boy this quote was my weekend! LOL (and who am I??)
I have been diligently working through the #cleaningarmy Spring Cleaning Challenge List (A huge thanks to Kym for sending me their way!) and I worked away on the kitchen over the weekend, ugh. But boy is it sparkly this morning! Today I have arrived at the dreaded bathroom/bedroom portion of the task list. I am wondering how I ever really did this without a list… I was a haphazard spring cleaner at best!
A weekend of cleaning was not what I really wanted to do, but I was on a roll.
I did manage a bit of spinning though! Saturday afternoon I virtually-spun with Jane, Sarah, Eileen, and Eileen’s sister and finished up some lingering singles on my wheel and I did some plying on Sunday! (If you’d like to join us, you are welcome! The more the merrier!) I need to give these beauties a bit of a soak to see how the twist evens out, but I am happy with my results on this!
My treat for finishing the bathroom/bedroom will be to ply up those reddish singles so I can get started on the fiber they complement!
Happy Monday All!
Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own. — Salvatore Quasimodo
One of the best things about National Poetry Month is the discovery of new-to-me poets and this year is no exception to that! When Kym asked if Bonny and I would be interested in joining her to share poetry, I never imagined how awesome this journey would be. I don’t remember if the enabler was Kym or Bonny but one of them sent out a list of poets for consideration and I had heard of some of the poets listed, but had really read none of the poetry by any of them! The bonus came when Kym invited Sarah to join us… so you get a quartet of poetry this month!
This week we are all sharing a bit of the prolific poetess, Elizabeth Alexander. I did not know Elizabeth Alexander, although she was the poet for President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. She wrote and read Praise Song for the Day. I can only say that I must have been in a coma for that, because I honestly do not remember it at all!
So I began my journey with Elizabeth in Antebellum Dream Book and wow! She took my hand and drew me along with her into her inner most thoughts and feelings. It was not enough, so I began reading Crave Radiance, which is a collection of her poetry with some cross-over as some of the poems from Antebellum Dream Book are contained in it.
The poem I am going to share today is from Antebellum Dream Book. Personally, I think we need a whole bunch of justices who embody this amazing dream!
Postpartum Dream #12: Appointment
by Elizabeth Alexander
I answered all
the Chief Justice’s questions
impeccably, and it wasn’t
with my father
for the phone call.
“I guess I’ll be
the first black woman
on the Supreme Court
if I get this.”
said my dad.
appeared on television
playing golf and smiling.
He has a secret.
His secretary phones
and asks the question.
Maybe I could do it
when the baby
goes to kindergarten. Maybe
I could do it
on alternate Mondays.
Maybe my baby
could gurgle and coo
in a pen in my chambers,
pulling at the curls
on my barrister’s wig,
spitting up on my black robes.
I’m excited. I turned out
to be a good lawyer, the best,
just like my dad.
Copyright © 2001 by Elizabeth Alexander. Published by Greywolf Press.
Make sure you stop and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have to share today!
Have an amazing remainder of the week and I will see you all back here on Monday!
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels
The knitting is slow going this week however, I did get through the yoke color work and have divided for the sleeves on my Daytripper cardigan! I thought things were progressing well and then yesterday happened! Yes, I had some side effects from my second injection…the worst of which was an unbelievable headache so not much of anything got accomplished. Just a lot of lazing on the couch willing the headache to depart. I hope to feel more like knitting today so maybe I can get through the body and onto the color work at the hem! Okay, so maybe that is a bit ambitious…but at least I hope to be knitting today!
Before I went to get my COVID vaccine, I did manage to get a marled swatch done and it is perfect! I love when my “minds-eye” and reality are the same.thing! So another Purl Strings is waiting in the wings! This one should be a snap to get done since I already know what size, what needle, and how many repeats I am doing!
The reading this week was so good! Hard, but good!
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A hard listen. Some things I knew, but so many more things I had no clue about. Compelling, well told stories. The variety of narrators worked well to portray the variety of writers. This should be a “must read” for every white person…
Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! by Stéphane Hessel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
To the men and women who will make the twenty-first century, we say with affection: TO CREATE IS TO RESIST. TO RESIST IS TO CREATE.
A small bit of advice from a life well-lived. I would hope that I will be so bold when and if I live to 93 years old! Hessel reflects on his work and he makes a call to arms to us today.
Antebellum Dream Book by Elizabeth Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my first experience with Elizabeth Alexander’s poetry and it certainly won’t be my last! There were so many poems in this book that I just loved… 1968, Paul Says, The female seer will burn upon this pyre, and Postpartum Dream #12: Appointment to name a few. Such moving writing. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book and letting Alexander open your eyes to new things!
That is all I have for today! I hope your making is going well and your reading even better!
If you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!