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Poem of the Day 
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
DWill wrote:
That was a common Romantic idea, that as children we're closer to nature, more at one with it, and therefore can be said to have more poetic souls at that stage, before culture takes this sense away from us. It's just interesting to look at how outlooks change--from seeing children as little beasts that need taming, to seeing them as more spiritual beings than adults.

So I was reading somewhere (damn, I forget where) about which stage of the lifespan is the most violent. Is it adolescence or young adulthood? No, it's the toddler stage! We need to grow out of violence, we don't grow into it, according to this person.


Not sure about violent toddlers, but then I did have one that bit me. Children as poets; I was not thinking philosophy, but rather pragmatics. To a young child so much of what they experience everyday is novel; the world is all new. Children become enthralled with even the simplest and most mundane things. They have little experience to inform their experiences and a limited vocabulary with which to communicate. I think this combination results in very interesting observations and statements by children: thing A is just like thing B, but the comparison is one an adult would hardly make even thought the child's observation is astute. A child is limited in how they are able to covey an idea or information and so they use everything they've got indiscriminately.


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Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:42 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
If I were to tell all of the why I am posting this today it would be TMI, but I will try to give some explanation. Poem first, explanation second --

The Broken Sandal

by Denise Levertov

Dreamed the thong of my sandal broke.
Nothing to hold it to my foot.
How shall I walk?
Barefoot?
The sharp stones, the dirt. I would
hobble.
And–
Where was I going?
Where was I going I can't
go to now, unless hurting?
Where am I standing, if I'm
to stand still now?


I will start with what appeals to me about this poem and move into why post today. I like the simple and vivid image of trying to walk with a broken sandal. It is an experience we all have had in one way or another - broken lace, broken heal.... It is funny that something so simple can hang us up - at least temporarily. In the poem Levertov also takes note of our tender footedness or vulnerability; we need some protection to march out into the world without getting too roughed up. Now for why today. Let me just say my sandal is broken. I had issues with my feet both actual and metaphorically all day and I ended up walking in the pouring rain from my car to the house in bare feet trying to avoid the rocks.


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As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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DWill, geo
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:02 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
My wake up call came far too early, 5 something AM, little soft pawed nudges and gentle kitty kisses on the tip of my nose. Wait, I never asked for a wake up call, I never would on a Sunday. So, bleary, I am at the computer reading poetry. Along comes Margaret Atwood's poem February; is just the one for me today.

February
By Margaret Atwood
Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.


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


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DWill, lindad_amato
Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:38 am
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Great, and how well tailored to your moment. Little fluffy feline has a paw in at least a billion and a half bird deaths each year, according to a new Smithsonian study. As far as why we keep around us these supremely egotistical creatures, and perhaps our own offspring, too, Atwood is right: "it's love that does us in."



Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:46 am
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Saffron wrote:
This is a favorite little song of mine by the band The Decemberists. I wish there was snow to clear away :(

January Hymn
Colin Meloy

On a winter's Sunday I go
To clear away the snow
And green the ground below

April all an ocean away
Is this a better way to spend the day?
Keeping the winter at bay

What were the words I meant to say
Before you left
When I could see your breath lead
Where you were going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, January, oh

How I lived a childhood in the snow
And all my teens in tow
Stuffed in strata of clothes

Hail the winter days after dark
Wandering the gray memorial park
A fleeting beating of hearts

What were the words I meant to say
Before she left
When I could see her breath lead
Where she was going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, Janu...
Oh, January, oh


This post prompted me to buy the album. I've always really liked the Decemberists, but I didn't yet own this particular album. Just listed to January Hymn right this moment. Damned good stuff! Thanks for posting.


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Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:14 am
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Saffron wrote:
My wake up call came far too early, 5 something AM, little soft pawed nudges and gentle kitty kisses on the tip of my nose. Wait, I never asked for a wake up call, I never would on a Sunday. So, bleary, I am at the computer reading poetry. Along comes Margaret Atwood's poem February; is just the one for me today.

February
By Margaret Atwood

Thanks for the poem Saffron, brought some life to a quiet February day. I like it, quite deliciously graphic, but not in a gratuitous way, quite real ... many cat owners can testify to this experience:

He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard.



Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:29 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
This is my poem for the whole week. Pain, memory, the emotions and the body are all wrapped up together - one dependent on the other.

There is a pain – so utter –
It swallows substance up –
Then covers the Abyss with Trance –
So Memory can step
Around – across – upon it –
As one within a Swoon –
Goes safely – where an open eye –
Would drop Him – Bone by Bone.

—from “599” by Emily Dickinson


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--May Swenson


Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Question

by May Swenson

Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?


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


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Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
For the late season snow storm we are getting here in Virginia - Emily Dickinson, #50

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer's empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.


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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


Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Thanks Saffron, her poem does somehow capture the late season snow storm ... here's another snow storm poem. I think there is something about snowstorms that invokes fear even if there is no real threat:

Storm Fear

WHEN the wind works against us in the dark,
And pelts with snow
The lowest chamber window on the east,
And whispers with a sort of stifled bark,
The beast,
‘Come out! Come out!’--
It costs no inward struggle not to go,
Ah, no!
I count our strength,
Two and a child,
Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length,--
How drifts are piled,
Dooryard and road ungraded,
Till even the comforting barn grows far away
And my heart owns a doubt
Whether ’tis in us to arise with day
And save ourselves unaided.

Robert Frost



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Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:53 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Just a heads up everyone, National (USA)Poetry Month is just around the corner! I'm already thinking about what poem I will have in my pocket for Poem in Your Pocket Day. How about you? I live in a mid-Atlantic state and we are having one hell of a March. The first day of Spring is tomorrow and it feels much more like February with the way the wind is howling tonight. So, with that Emily D and my poem of the day.

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).

Part Two: Nature

LXXXVII

DEAR March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat—
You must have walked— 5
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me, 10
I have so much to tell!

I got your letter, and the bird’s;
The maples never knew
That you were coming,—I declare,
How red their faces grew! 15
But, March, forgive me—
And all those hills
You left for me to hue;
There was no purple suitable,
You took it all with you. 20

Who knocks? That April!
Lock the door!
I will not be pursued!
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied. 25
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.

Added note:
While looking for this poem I came across a website with several March poems. I am not up to reading them all now, but the ones I did are very worth a look. For more March poems go to:
http://hedgeguard.blogspot.com/2010/02/ ... poems.html

If you see one you like - post it and say why.


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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


Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Here in Virginia they are forecasting snow off and on over the next week. It most likely will not amount to much, but after the first day of Spring has arrived it is a bit demoralizing. I love this little poem that captures the feeling just so.

"March Snow"

There is something hopeful about March,
something benevolent about the light,

and yet wherever I look snow
has fallen or is about to fall, and the cold

is so unexpected, so harsh,
that even the spider lily blooming

on the windowsill seems no more
than another promise, soon to be broken.

It is like a lover who speaks
the passionate language of fidelity, but

when you look for him, there he is
in the arms of winter.

-- Linda Pastan


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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


Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:10 pm
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Post Re: Poem of the Day
This one sort of cheered me up this morning.

HEAVEN
by: Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat’ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! — Death eddies near –
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.


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Post Re: Poem of the Day
Suburban
by John Ciardi

Yesterday Mrs. Friar phoned. "Mr. Ciardi,
how do you do?" she said. "I am sorry to say
this isn't exactly a social call. The fact is
your dog has just deposited-forgive me-
a large repulsive object in my petunias."

I thought to ask, "Have you checked the rectal grooving
for a positive I.D.?" My dog, as it happened,
was in Vermont with my son, who had gone fishing-
if that's what one does with a girl, two cases of beer,
and a borrowed camper. I guessed I'd get no trout.

But why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack?
"Yes, Mrs. Friar," I said, "I understand."
"Most kind of you," she said. "Not at all," I said.
I went with a spade. She pointed, looking away.
"I always have loved dogs," she said, "but really!"

I scooped it up and bowed. "The animal of it.
I hope this hasn't upset you, Mrs. Friar."
"Not really," she said, "but really!" I bore the turd
across the line to my own petunias
and buried it till the glorious resurrection

when even these suburbs shall give up their dead.


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Post Re: Poem of the Day
THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

William Wordsworth, 1802


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