I find myself remembering the days of the week by my “blog calendar” and have felt the need to spend more time here, which is not a bad thing. Today I am joining Carole and friends to share three things with you today.
Some years ago, Kym introduced me to National Poetry Month, which, I confess, I did not know existed. I did not read poetry. My maternal grandfather did though – he not only read poetry, he had so many poems memorized! My favorites that he would recite were Trees by Joyce Kilmer, and Fog by Carl Sandburg. I know these poems, but did not really “get” why poetry. That is until Kym. Today I am going to share three things that I hope will draw you into the lovely world of poetry. I have found great comfort in these uncertain and unsettled days in poetry.
I did not know about the Griffin Poetry Prize (there are International and Canadian Winners). The 2020 Shortlist was just announced. I have added several of these to my “poetry wish list.” They also share a poem of the week!
I just finished reading Susan Stewart’s Columbarium, a lovely little tome of incredibly moving poems. I have read it through three times now and each time I discover something new. But, every time I have read this book Dark the Star has called to me.
Dark The Star
by Susan Stewart
Dark the star
deep in the well,
bright in the still
and moving water,
still as the night
the circle of stones
the darkness surrounds.
Dark the wish
made on the star,
a true wish made
on the water’s image.
There’s no technique in the grass.
There’s no technique in the rose.
This is perhaps my favorite poem of all time. I discovered Derek Walcott via Kym’s blog. His poetry is the best discovery ever.
Love After Love
by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Happy Thursday everyone!
Starts with a trip down the loveliest rabbit hole!
Clara started it, but that led me to this and this and finally this! These kids… PURE JOY (and you can believe me when I tell you that because joy has been a scarce commodity in my life these days!!)
Perhaps, a trip down a rabbit hole is the perfect thing for today since I spent much of the weekend with things on repeat!
I could not get enough of this and I listened to it several times on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Which led me to “Google” Pádraig Ó Tuama and I discovered he has a twitter account! (My twitterverse just grew infinitely richer!)
I finished Clue One of the Genius of Romi! My brain loved every bit of everything I thought I could not understand – that is until I broke it down and just did what the direction said to do, and not worry about that next step until its turn. (I am knitting this with a heavy-lace weight yarn and a bit of a smaller needle than the pattern calls for, but oh my do I love this start!)
I also did some “repeats” knitting and finished a long lingering UFO* (I saved the pattern in 2015 and I think I cast on shortly thereafter, but never started a project page.) Today, a good soak and some blocking to reveal the beauty! (My yarns are about a half a ball of Zauberball Crazy – in the colorway that the designer used, and almost an entire hank of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn.) There was something entirely satisfying about knitting alternating repeats of welts and wedges.
I hope you enjoy these rabbit holes! Happy Monday!
Another week, another un-Friday! March was the longest year of my life and how is it only April 3? However, I am managing to keep my mind occupied and away from activities that allow it to stray to worried thinking!
First, Steve thanks all of you for your birthday wishes! He wants you all to know it was the perfect day – a day at home that was all about him! He is the one person who is not stressed about sheltering at home – it is his favorite thing ever! The cake was incredibly delicious! (although next time I will halve the frosting recipe) It is moist and reminds me of brownies…but so.much.better. This is absolutely a recipe I will make again!
This week I spent lots of time happily noticing that despite the insanity that the world is these days, spring is blind to the uncertainty and slowly, steadily, each day it shares a new promise. My forsythia are a riot of yellow, the bridal–wreath has a veil of white lace, any my saved-from-the-dump lilac has dozens and dozens of dark purple flower buds! I have rhubarb leaves unfurling, the raspberries are getting new leaves, and the garden is calling to me. (I am ignoring the bushes that are screaming to be trimmed, and the yard that needs to be mowed – another month at home allows for the luxury of being able to take time to get the least favorite tasks done, amirite?)
I really tried to stay focused on small things. diversions, distractions, and remembering to breathe. The following are some things that have been the most pleasant distractions this week:
I discovered Patrick Stewart reading #ASonnetADay He is brilliant and I have loved every lovely word of them, but the best is when William Shakespeare retweets them!
Baking was truly a life-saver for me this week. I baked lots! I savored every step from making to the clean up – which for me was always the least fun part, but this week I welcomed the task! I also spent time tending my sourdough starter! My question for you all is this: Have you baked banana bread this week? You are not alone! (and if you didn’t, this is the bandwagon you want to get on ASAP!)
Poetry remains my favorite distraction and I have found so.many.new.poems on Shelter in Poems:
This week, there were so many moments of unexpected kindness…and I am profoundly grateful for each one.
And, finally… later today, I will begin the first clue of Romi’s Mystery Shawl!
I would say “let the weekend begin” but in these days of the never-ending weekend, it seems a moot point! I will be back on Monday and hope that you are all staying home, washing you hands, and flattening that damned curve!
Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels
I wept with the world at the tragedy that happened to Notre Dame on Monday. I had been thinking and thinking about what poem I might post for today, and I wondered if there were any poems written to that magnificent cathedral.
I considered this poem on Monday night. But, the loss of the stained glass – especially that glorious rose window – made Kerrie O’Brien’s words almost painful to read.
Then I considered Edmund Kemper Broadus poem about a gargoyle. But, the fate of those gargoyles is yet uncertain.
Finally, I stumbled across this poem, written on Monday by Mary Angela Douglas and I knew that this is the poem I will carry with me today:
Beauty Itself Is Burning Down
by Mary Angela Douglas
beauty itself is burning down
a newsman cried
with Notre Dame lit like a torch
against the sunset sky
what can we say
will the rose windows melt inside
I wondered, can it be so many saints have died
and now their images too their agonies renewed
for another contract, lease
is the name for Paris, rue,
not rosemary, please forget me
what I knew of thought I knew of
Hugo, I thought ramdomly
cathedrals burning in a green April
april, the cruelest
does the world skip a beat in an afternoon
of eight centuries
the world within the world
we never see
not being visionary
the cathedral erupting into great roses
in a penultimate Spring
the cathedral a great green candle
consumed for the Lord
as if by example, we should be shorn
of our somnambulance
in the lily of this hour
with the traffic no longer surging, transfixed
in the rose of its crumbling
singing, singing singing
the bell into the tower
the tower withstanding
the bell in the tower
the bell in the tower
beyond all wars and scars
the little mockeries in peace time
and yet, crowds grew
and thronged the singeing avenues
willing the walls to stay
for hours and hours
the spire of Notre Dame
our lady’s arrow-sorrow
lit in a golden flame, flickered, floated sideways
what next? The flaking, flinging down of stars. the moon falls into the earth, a mirror no longer
ashes for beauty?
time itself collapsed in a deep black hole
remnants of a single spring twilight
our souls in the rubble still singing.
will not cease, will not leave it this way
on this, no calendar’s day.
Photo by Adrienn from Pexels
It has been a hell of a week and I have been eerily reminded how history repeats itself. Yet, knowing how history happens does not make the here and now less stressful. Yet this morning gentle rains filled my senses with a sense of calm and then I found Sara Teasdale’s poem. Her words filled me with a sense of calm – someday all of what is happening right now will just be history and “no one will care at last when it is done.” May these words give you peace as you welcome the weekend, and may you spend more time listening to the robins “whistling whims” than worrying about the latest news. Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you back here next week.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.