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The use of poetry: A Poem of mourning for the children lost in Newtown, Conn. 
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Post The use of poetry: A Poem of mourning for the children lost in Newtown, Conn.
During my lifetime poetry has not played a very important role in public life. I hardly know anyone that reads poetry regularly or even occasionally. To my mind it is a sad loss to each of us personally and all of us culturally that poetry has fallen out of use. And, yes, I do mean the word use. Poetry is smelling the coffee, the roses, your lovers unwashed bedclothes that brings on a storm of longing. It is a full stop, a breathe to remind the body to keep on living, a prayer for mercy. After 9/11 much poetry was written, but I do not remember hearing it until weeks if not months after the event. Yesterday, just one day after the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I heard the poem that follows on the radio. I felt relief and comfort. Grasping for explanation will not bring those children back or lessen the grief. What is need now is solace, something to bring forth the tears that releases the tension of pain.

From NPR website:
The heartbreaking loss of lives in Newtown, Conn., moved the Louisiana-born poet Yusef Komunyakaa to put his emotions into words. The global distinguished professor of English at New York University knows too well how it feels to lose a child and poetry's power to calm and heal.

Rock Me, Mercy
By YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods has gone down.
It looks like rain, because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you're hiding,
we know you can't be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild horses?
The memory of ants asleep
and day lilies, roses, holly and larkspur?
The magpies gaze at us, still waiting.
River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is
mercy, please rock me.



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DWill, giselle, SkywardGnost, Suzanne
Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:50 am
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Post Re: The use of poetry: A Poem of mourning for the children lost in Newtown, Conn.
Thanks for the mourning poem Saffron, its difficult to come up with words to deal with emotions that arise when something so horrific happens. I do agree that poetry has largely fallen out of public life but I think the popularity of rap and 'spoken word' shows a hankering for this form of expression and communication and I would see these as forms of poetry. Perhaps what is underway is a long process of redefining what poetry is and how it can be relevant to people's lives?



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Saffron
Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:14 pm
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Post Re: The use of poetry: A Poem of mourning for the children lost in Newtown, Conn.
i'm going to write a poem right now, freestyle (hiphopapotamus) to help me deal with my reaction to the tragic event.

ahem....

stupid, blind, refuse to see, whats in you is whats in me
push it down ignore it but it only comes back stronger
i've been watching us miss the point so long i cant stand it any longer

ignore it cause it's ignorable then sham shock, what a crock!
when our "leaders" kill it's quite ok but no-one shouts to take their license away.
i'm sick of you fuckin' hypocrites that bleed from the heart but when i was left for dead you could barely raise a fart.

this whole fuckin' race has got a demon in it's psyche but when it shows it's ugly face well we all just cant understand how something so evil could happen!!

the fruit of lies, lies and deception, the part of us that we reject comes back with homicidal intent.

but we are clean, we are far from such horror, oooooh how could anyone do such a thing, when all the while our history is written in it.

tell the apache, tell the navajo you just dont understand when evil comes and where it goes.
tell me again you could never do something so wicked... tell me again you dont understand...

i say you're blind.

want some eye-salve? oh that's right you're so righteous you dont need it.

you dont know evil? well evil knows you and unless you learn to deal it's next victim will be you.

know yourself, completely, drag the dark into the light and in light of day, together, we will win this fight.

the demon you shun is you, the evil you fear is you, but you have rejected it, and pushed it down and given no recourse

embrace the dark lord, make him your compliment, your reciprocal, and then strangely you will find your fellow man doesn't go insane and try to kill you.



Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:09 pm
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