Happy Birthday to me! Today begins my 61st year! 61 years brings lots of retrospection and thinking about birthdays of long ago. When I was a child, it almost always seemed to snow on my birthday and I loved it so much! I have also been thinking about Christmas Vacation birthdays. That’s right…one of the benefits of having your birthday 2 days after Christmas is that you never have school… but that is one of the detriments as well. Sometimes it would have been nice to be in school on my birthday… and even better, it would have been so fun having a snow day!
I won’t see any snow today (it’s pouring down rain…sigh) but thankfully Billy Collins can conjure up a Snow Day for me!
I hope you all enjoy a bit of a Snow Day today (even if there is no physical snow!) I will see you back here tomorrow with an update on my word!
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.
There are times when hindsight gives a clarity that is astounding… I should have voted with the doctor for stitches rather than voting for no stitches. Her wisdom has been so correct…she gave me two scenarios: One: get stitches, likely lose my nail, but my finger would heal faster…but likely probably with more pain. Two: no stitches, perhaps keep my nail, heal slower, but with less pain… and here I am more than a week in and my finger is still not healed and still not fully functional. My frustration level is moving towards the “off the charts” realm and I am sick of the entire process of healing/cleaning/bandaging/etc. (And while I can sort of type… mainly it is an activity that increases my frustration level!)
If ever there was a need in my life for poetry, it is this morning. And today… I am sharing two poems that I truly love. The first, In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti. This poem has always been one of my favorite hymns, but I did not know about Christina or her poetry until I did some research on the poem. Below is a very unique version of the hymn… which is usually sung by a boys choir (and quite beautifully, I might add) but there was something just stunning about this rendition.
And how can one ease into winter without a bit of Robert Frost? This poem sort of sums up my week ahead… I have miles to go before I can be ready for Christmas! lol
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Arrives and I have nothing for a blog post. So when all else fails, poetry saves the day! I hope that this poetry will bolster your day and start your week off in the best way! See you all back here on Wednesday!
Just a dash of lambent carmine Shading into sky of gold; Just a twitter of a song-bird Ere the wings its head enfold; Just a rustling sigh of parting From the moon-kissed hill to breeze; And a cheerful gentle, nodding Adieu waving from the trees; Just a friendly sunbeam’s flutter Wishing all a night’s repose, Ere the stars swing back the curtain Bringing twilight’s dewy close.
Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment. — Carl Sandburg
April is just such an amazing month and I hope that during the month we have opened some doors and allowed you to ponder the moments that poets captured to share.
And while I love every day of National Poetry Month… perhaps the best day is Poem for Your Pocket Day. The idea is that poetry is something you can carry with you. It is something that you can read and reread…over and over again. It is also for everyday life…and it can be very relatable like the poem I chose for my pocket today!
I heard a poem written by Connie Wanek and it caused me to stop what I was doing and go search on the internet to see what I could learn about her, which led me to Monopoly. It brought back memories of playing it for hours on end with my cousins and my cousin, Bill being almost always being that one person. I hope this poem brings back fond memories for you today, that perhaps you consider it again with adult eyes, and hopefully you will print it out and tuck it in your pocket to read again later today.
We used to play, long before we bought real houses.
A roll of the dice could send a girl to jail.
The money was pink, blue, gold, as well as green,
and we could own a whole railroad
or speculate in hotels where others dreaded staying:
the cost was extortionary.
At last one person would own everything,
every teaspoon in the dining car, every spike
driven into the planks by immigrants,
every crooked mayor.
But then, with only the clothes on our backs,
we ran outside, laughing.
I hope this month has been amazing for you. Make sure you stop and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have for your pocket today! I can’t think of a better thing that a pocket full of poems to carry you through your day!
Finally, I’d like to thank Kym for including me in this amazing month! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here next week!
Sometimes poetry is witty and clever…I think my grandfather’s favorite poet, Carl Sandburg, hits this brilliantly with his poem Fog. When my grandfather would recite this poem to me I could see exactly what Sandburg meant in the clever way he uses a cat to describe fog. (Don’t ask me about Sandburg’s other poetry though because I have tried to read it but none of it grabbed me like hearing my grandfather recite Fog from memory.)
But recently a poem landed in my email just when the winds were racing around my neighborhood. It is witty, brilliant, it made me chuckle…and it made me look at things from that rascally wind’s perspective!
Bonus moments occur when I keep thinking about the poem and I read it again and again. This poem by Gwendolyn Bennett is just incredible (as is she!) A Black woman – a writer and and educator who was born in Texas in 1902 must have at times felt like the wind was raging around her… and perhaps, just maybe, she felt like the wind around her students!
The wind was a care-free soul
That broke the chains of earth,
And stood for a moment across the land
With the wild halloo of his mirth
He little cared that he ripped up trees,
That houses fell at his hand,
That his step broke the calm of the breast of the seas,
That his feet stirred clouds of sand.
But when he had had his little joke,
Had shouted and laughed and sung,
When the trees were scarred, their branches broke,
And their foliage aching hung,
He crept to his cave with a healthy tread,
with rain-filled eyes and low-bowed head.
This poem is in the public domain.
Please make sure you stop by and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have to share with you today!
See you back here on Monday with an update on my word! I hope you are having a great week and your weekend will be full of fun things!
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!