Tag Archives: poetry

Sunday Quote 2013, Week 4. Jean-Paul Sartre

To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Snowy Day

Snowy Day

Here, There . . . Like A Dead Leaf

Chanson d’automne
~ Paul Verlaine

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

Translation here.

Today in history

The Writers’ Almanac celebrates the 129th birthday of William Carlos Williams — and the discovery of bacteria.   Listen to the podcast in iTunes, or read the text here.

You can hear Williams read his poem in the link below.  It surprised me how he read it, much faster than I would read it.

Last year, I wrote about Williams and included some links.  You can find that post here.

It’s raining here today, but no chickens or wheelbarrows anywhere.   And, so, no photo either.

One Short Post Containing One Photo, One Poem, One Order

One photo: One branch, two catkins, four leaves.

One pussy willow branch

One poem:

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
Pablo Neruda
Translated by Mark Eisner

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

One word comment: Discuss.

This post is part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Today’s letter is O. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can find other A to Z participants by clicking on the graphic. You’ll find an index of all of my A to Z blog posts here.

What Any Lover Learns

One of my favorite poems.  I especially like the truth of the poem revealed by the title.

What Any Lover Learns
Archibald MacLeish

Water is heavy silver over stone.
Water is heavy silver over stone’s
Refusal. It does not fall. It fills. It flows
Every crevice, every fault of the stone,
Every hollow. River does not run.
River presses its heavy silver self
Down into stone and stone refuses.

What runs,
Swirling and leaping into sun, is stone’s
Refusal of the river, not the river.

Heavy Silver

This post is part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Today’s letter is L. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can find other A to Z participants by clicking on the graphic. You’ll find an index of all of my A to Z blog posts here.

Sunday Quote (2012 Week 7)

‎A poet’s work…to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.  ~ Salman Rushdie

Mysteries & the Deep Blue Sea

Current Reading

In a sense, poems are not even fair. For instance, they do not always assert what they mean. And the same for pictures. A reader must get meaning through an action, through an act of response. And there are endless combinations of irony possible, and reversals, and second thoughts, and adjustments. Images and words put near each other begin to interact. What a poem says, it keeps on saying, with variations, to any being who keeps on saying and judging too, in his own way.

“Introduction to ‘Since Feeling is First'”, reprinted in Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer’s Vocation by William Stafford

This, of course, reminds me of Emily Dickenson’s “Tell the truth, but tell is slant”:

All truth must dazzle gradually/Or every man be blind

Once I thought of that, my mind went wandering, tossing this idea about. It isn’t coincidence that I used the word tossing, as Stafford wrote about bouncing ideas — and poems — off of backboards! I look forward to reading more essays in this collection; when I start up again, I’ll be on page 9!

Welcome to the Sunshine State

Early morning, near freezing

A few months ago, as I was headed to the checkout at the library, I saw a copy of Winter Morning Walks: one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison by Ted Kooser sitting in the return bin. I picked it up and checked it out not knowing anything about the book and not very familiar with Kooser’s poetry.

This slim volume contains poems that Kooser wrote and pasted on postcards and sent to his friend Jim. Kooser was recuperating from cancer at the time and used his morning walks as inspiration. All of the poems begin with reporting the weather condition.

I was thinking about this work the other day and was inspired to pen the poem below:

7:41, 37 degrees

The sky is the color of wet paint.
Trees outlined against the quickly lightening gray blue sky.
Later, snow will fall, dissolving as it hits the still warm earth,
becoming rain drops that will remember the cold, early morning.

I like the idea of taking inspiration from the world around you, of being aware of your physical surroundings and using them as a springboard to write about other things. But you know what? It’s pretty damn hard. I would have to write a ton of these to come anywhere close to choosing 100 that would be good. I can’t just scrawl a few lines on a piece of paper and mail it off to someone. But, perhaps Mr. Kooser worked for hours on each of these before sending: the finished work of an experienced writer makes it look too easy.

You can read more about Kooser and some of his poems at The Poetry Foundation or at Poets.Org

Blake’s Birthday

Today is the anniversary of the birth of William Blake.


I first encountered Blake’s artwork at the Tate (now Tate Britain) when I was a college student. I arrived early each week for a class, because I loved to sit in one particular gallery and look at the works by Blake. I dreamed that one day I might be able to sit in that particular gallery by myself, undisturbed, alone with the Blake paintings, able to view it from any angle possible, absorbing the atmosphere and letting the work seep into my very being. It was only later that I read Blake’s poetry. I may have been attracted to his works at first because of the colors that he used, or the fantastical subjects, but I think it may have just been an overall recognition of Blake’s genius that was embodied in his art.

Here are some links in honor of Blake’s Birthday:

Elohim Creating Adam The first Blake I remember seeing

You can browse the Tate collection for Blake’s work here.

The Preface to Milton aka “Jerusalem”

And, no tribute post to Blake would be complete, without Patti Smith singing In My Blakean Year< (That's Eddie Vedder to her left, Johnny Depp to her right on stage). There are probably better videos of Patti singing this, but I like this particular one.

Sunday Quote

“When we move with poetry and imagination, when we deal with symbols and images, we become people who are happy with mystery and open to discovery” (Rowan Williams).