a bit of poetry

Maddie's pic with accompanying Neruda poem so inspired me yesterday. I'm realizing that I'm hungry for poetry right now. Do any of you have a good verse to share with me?



Anonymous said...

My favorite these days is Mary Oliver's "Egrets"

Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that's how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets - - -
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them - - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

Alisa said...

I love both poems referred to so far.

Here's one I wrote after I attended my first society of friends meeting several weeks ago. I've been waiting for enough courage to post it on my blog. Based on John 15:15.

A friend of God, a friend of People
All equal light-bearers
Quiet communion, inner reception
To proceed as way opens

Reverence, silence
Reflect presence and being
A healing power
To hold them in the light

Tess said...

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Wallace Stevens

G said...

the last poem (sort of) I memorized:

[s]he who learns must suffer
and even in [her] sleep,
pain that cannot forget falls
drop by drop upon
the heart
against our wills,
comes wisdom to us,
by the awful
grace of god.

(k, probably mixed that up a bit... but wanted to just write it out how I remember it.)

G said...

ah... and this one I haven't memorized yet, just the first few lines... but it tantalizes me:

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of [wo]man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
-attributed to jack london

jana said...

Oh, such gorgeous poems--all of them! Thank you!

Alisa: your Quaker poem is particularly resonant. I love reading it and letting the familiar phrases of Friends wash over me.

Tess: My first class in my first quarter of college we studied The Emperor if Ice Cream. It reminds me of that new-to-college excitement and that teacher who opened my mind to the possibilities of poetry.

G: Both amazing sentiments. The second one I think of all the time as I am leaping into something unknown or unfamiliar. I want to _live_ and burn brightly. The risks of doing so seem worth it!

anon: Mary Oliver speaks my language (but only far better than I can). Her words have brought me through some of my darkest days...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jana -- I thought that you might enjoy thinking of roses past, present and future...
-From a NYC gal with only a small balcony on which to tend a garden
-- a "Starlight" Hydrangea, Boxwood, Ivy and Lavender accounting for all of my beauties

The rose fades
and is renewed again
by its seed
but where

Save in the poem
shall it go
to suffer no diminution
of its splendor

- William Carlos Williams