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A Favorite Poem 
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Post 
Quote:
many of Lee's poems capture what we can not say or dare not say, what we can not own for fear of exposing a vulnerability, decorum's sake or fear of being too attached.


These two poems are very good, I am going to read more.
Quote:
But I know
it is because of the way
my mother's hair falls
when he pulls the pins out.
Easily, like the curtains
when they untie them in the evening.



This paints a beautifully poignant scene.

Immigrant Blues
Not sure if I understand this one completely...Trying to become part of a new culture, having that culture become part of you compared to becoming 'one' with a lover. There is so much more here, but I don't quite know how to put it into words.


I like this:
Quote:
called "The Child Who'd Rather Play than Study."

Practice until you feel
the language inside you, says the man.


How better to learn and feel the language inside you than play?

Quote:
If you don't believe you're inside me, you're not,
she answered, at peace with the body's greed,
at peace with the heart's bewilderment.


This is also good...at peace with the heart's bewilderment.[/code]



Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:50 pm
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Post 
DWill wrote:
That is nice. For some reason it reminded me of the "order in disorder" poem we had a while back, though it's not really the same. I think the "favorite poem" thread and "poem of the moment" often overlap. I know that when I think of a favorite poem, it also seems like a poem of the moment, so I might post it there.


Do you mean "Delight In Disorder" by Robert Herrick? I came across this very poem this evening. I picked up a book for a buck today that had a pull out page with 3 poems on it -- "Delight In Disorder" is one, the second is "To Lose One's Faith" by Emily Dickinson and the third is Robert Frost's "Desert Places." It is an interesting grouping and rather poignant to me, as it turns out.


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As in a magic bath
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to the sharp pit
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--May Swenson


Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:24 pm
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Post 
I'm sending this poem on a postcard to my daughter -- the small girl in my poem.

I Stop Writing the Poem
by Tess Gallagher

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there's a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:08 pm
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Thanks, Saffron,

For posting Li-Young Lee's poems! I had the wonderful good fortune to be able to take a seminar called Ethnic Autobiography that was offered through the Department of Creative Writing at U of Oregon (years ago) in which he was a visiting professor. Please excuse this bit of name-dropping on the grounds that I just want to say he was (and I am sure is still) as remarkable a person as you might suppose from his writing.

He advised us to memorize passages and poems, to write out -- by longhand -- the words of favorite texts over and over, both to memorize them and so that they would "get inside your body." We talked about how you could feel what it felt like to write those words and think them at the speed of writing, in the act of writing, as the person who wrote them had thought them. He was grateful that his father (I believe it was his father) who was a minister, had made him memorize and write out Bible verses and he thought that this much-maligned practice was a way of really making the literary understanding a physical, deep, real part of yourself. I felt a spiritual quality in his appreciation of writing.

He also had this thing about language or thinking that was "far" as opposed to another kind that was "near." I believe he thought both kinds could be really good, but the middle-distance stuff was pedestrian. At the time, with his examples of who he thought was a "far" or "near" writer, you could understand exactly what he meant and it was clear and perfect. Right now, my clarity about it has faded. This was probably close to 15 years ago now. But the impression of his earnest, vibrant and fascinating personality and the beautifully individual quality of his way of speaking truth, of his way of thinking and expressing himself, his personal idiom, if you will, has stuck with me. His were definitely some of the most valuable (because the most sincere, creative and passionately felt) thoughts I heard expressed in person at the University and I took classes there on and off for more than a decade.

He was wonderful -- although he didn't believe Jesus was a pacifist and tried to engage a debate about it, which I resisted entering into although I knew it was my writing about my grandfather which had caused him to bring it up. I don't think it's something to fight about. :D


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Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:06 pm
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Nice to see you back on BT, you've been missed. Thank you ever so much, for writing about your experience with Li-Young Lee. He is one of my very favorite poets.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:15 pm
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Post 
Saffron wrote:
DWill wrote:
That is nice. For some reason it reminded me of the "order in disorder" poem we had a while back, though it's not really the same. I think the "favorite poem" thread and "poem of the moment" often overlap. I know that when I think of a favorite poem, it also seems like a poem of the moment, so I might post it there.


Do you mean "Delight In Disorder" by Robert Herrick? I came across this very poem this evening. I picked up a book for a buck today that had a pull out page with 3 poems on it -- "Delight In Disorder" is one, the second is "To Lose One's Faith" by Emily Dickinson and the third is Robert Frost's "Desert Places." It is an interesting grouping and rather poignant to me, as it turns out.

Your're right of course, it was "Delight in Disorder."



Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:41 pm
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Post Delight in Disorder
Now that we've mentioned the poem "Delight in Disorder" so many times, I think we should have it!


DELIGHT IN DISORDER.
by Robert Herrick


A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction :
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher :
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly :
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat :
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility :
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:56 pm
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Post 
Separation

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

-- W.S. Merwin


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:03 pm
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Post In my craft or sullen art by Dylan Thomas
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art

I have so many poems that I like, but here is one picked out of the blue. I tend to like poems that are quite sensual like keats, but I find Dylan Thomas good becuase of the musical lyrical sounds of the words of his poetry. I love the line "I labour by singing light" as it reminds me of the hissing of tilly lamps that I would see being used by fishermen when I was young.



Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:02 am
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Post Re: In my craft or sullen art by Dylan Thomas
Gem wrote:
I love the line "I labour by singing light" as it reminds me of the hissing of tilly lamps that I would see being used by fishermen when I was young.


Thanks, Gem, for getting my Saturday off to a great start. When ever I see that someone has posted a favorite poem, I feel so existed, like unwrapping a gift; I can't wait to see what's inside. I also tend toward sensuous poems. What a sensation it is to read the words "singing light". I also get smell with it too, the scent of burning fuel.

I meant to write what I liked about the W. S. Merwin poem. I like that absence has substance in his poem -- it is something rather than a hole. To me, missing someone has weight.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Last edited by Saffron on Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:35 am
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Post Re: Delight in Disorder
Saffron wrote:
Now that we've mentioned the poem "Delight in Disorder" so many times, I think we should have it!


DELIGHT IN DISORDER.
by Robert Herrick


A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction :
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher :
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly :
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat :
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility :
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.


I was just wondering how we're suposed to read the rhyming words here. Every other couplet appears to be an off-rhyme, unelss we're meant to distort the sound of the second rhyming word. This is what I do with "thrown" and "distract-sheown" and "thereby" and "confused-lie". I kind of like doing that. I know that it might be suggested that in Herrick's time, these words did rhyme, but I somewhat doubt they did.



Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:50 am
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Post Re: Delight in Disorder
DWill wrote:
I was just wondering how we're suposed to read the rhyming words here. Every other couplet appears to be an off-rhyme, unelss we're meant to distort the sound of the second rhyming word. This is what I do with "thrown" and "distract-sheown" and "thereby" and "confused-lie". .


:laugh: You do take your time in responding to a post (Delight in Disorder posted 2/28/09), but well worth the wait! I can just hear you pronouncing "distract-sheown". :laugh:

post script: I think you are channeling W.B. Yeats! Have you heard the recordings of him reading? If not, you ought.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Last edited by Saffron on Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:58 am
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Gem: When I noticed your user name I thought of Wales right away. I always do when I see the name Gem. I almost wasn't surprised to see that is your location. When I was in high school I participated in an exchange program with a Welsh school. One of the students I became friendly with was a very nice young man named Gem. Ever since I've had fond associations with the name. It is also a character in my most favorite book To Kill A Mocking Bird.

At the end of college I spent a week at Christmas time visiting with some of the students I'd met from the exchange program. The place in Wales I visited was Pontymister, Gwent. What I remember most about Pontyminster is the row upon row of brick attached houses, all with startlingly different colored door; canary yellow, purple, royal blue, red, spring green and the like.


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:09 am
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Post more favourite poems
The thing with favourite poems is i have so many to choose from!
Here's another very atmospheric one:

The Darkling Thrush, Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

It is nice to hear that someone knows where Wales is - not many people (a certain George Bush included) don't! I think growing up in the coastal national park of West Wales contributed to how I like being outside a lot - and like to see a lot of atmospheric description in poetry.



Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:24 pm
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My daughter, who is spending a semester in Greece, took a side trip to Wales and just returned to Athens. A big fan of the fantasy genre, she had the idea to vist places mentioned by Susan Cooper in her books. I'm not sure how many she saw, but she did say she wants to learn to speak Welsh!

I echo your liking of atmospherics, by the way.



Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:03 pm
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