Wednesday, April 29, 2009

National Poetry Month

This is the first time that I have blogged about poetry because, true confession, I used to be a poetry agnostic. I read some poetry Valerie posted on her blog and was really taken by it. She send me some poems and poet suggestions, and I realized that I just hadn't been reading the right poets. At her suggestion I started with Mary Oliver and have been reading poetry ever since. I meant to start this month with poetry, so instead will leave it, and you, with Ted Kooser, my current favorite poet.

The Constellation Orion

I’m delighted to see you,
old friend,
lying there in your hammock
over the next town.
You were the first person
my son was to meet in the heavens.
He’s sleeping now,
his head like a small sun in my lap.
Our car whizzes along in the night.
If he were awake, he’d say,
“Look, Daddy, there’s Old Ryan!”
but I won’t wake him.
He’s mine for the weekend,
Old Ryan, not yours.

I love the humor and tender father in that poem and the following poem, I love for it's imagery.

Old Soldiers' Home

On benches in front of the Old Soldiers' Home,
the old soldiers unwrap the pale brown packages
of their hands, folding the fingers back
and looking inside, then closing them up again
and gazing off across the grounds, safe with the secret.

I hope one of these connects with you. I've discovered that poetry is like music, if it doesn't resonate, then it's not pleasurable.

Reading: Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2009)

Listening: Temple, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: a popular history of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz (who also writes under the names of Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, a nom de plume derived from the names of her two children.)


Valerie said...

I love the poems....Old Ryan!! How cute.

Elizabeth Peters is a pen name?!..didn't know that. Learn something new everyday.

Thanks for the gift of the post!

Hilary said...

When I was a teenager, I wrote poetry. Even in college, I still wrote poetry....even got published in the college literary booklet......big deal to me then. Reading your poems made me remember how much joy that gave to me, so long ago.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I have only been inspired twice in my life to write decent poems, both (I say in all modesty :) were pretty good. Cant remember either though....
My favorite poets? Robert W. Service (most famous poem "The Creamation of Sam McGee), and Edgar Allan Poe. This maybe because I havent read a lot of other poetry, but I enjoy them.

Wool Enough said...

I love poetry. This one gives me chills every time --

Miss Rosie by Lucille Clifton

When I watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels
when I watch you
in your old man's shoes
with the little toe cut out
sitting, waiting for your mind
like next week's grocery
I say
when I watch you
you wet brown bag of a woman
who used to the best looking gal in Georgia
used to be called the Georgia Rose
I stand up
through your destruction
I stand up.

Kathy said...

What great poems! Funny...I used to love poetry and wrote it often in high school and college. (sigh)

Maybe we should start one where all of us could join in and add a line, eh? Hmm...

"There once was a woman from Reno..."