Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Poem to Revive Your Heart, by Lisel Mueller, an Amazing Poet

Oh, my dear, sweet friends, how I miss you all! I'm still not up and running at home. Due to my lack of patience and horrible menopausal temper, I've hung up three times after being on hold with AT&T for hours trying to get to someone in tech support with half a brain. Sigh. Frustration----If I can't get it running this week, I'm going to call a computer friend and pay him to help me get it fixed. Sigh. It's always something. Last week the refrigerator went out, wouldn't cool at all.....Not the freezer part, but the refrigerator. We called our trusty appliance repairman who fixed it for $130, much less that a new frig would have cost. But now it's freezing our milk! Oy!

But, once again, poetry came to my rescue. I found a set of four discs of poetry at the library last week read by the poets and came across this poem which I'd read years ago and, in fact, own the book it's from, "Alive Together" by Lisel Mueller which I highly recommend. Every poem in it is heart-rending and soul-stirring. As soon as I heard it I wanted to run and share it with y'all! I cry every time I re-read it!!!

I had an epiphany that my poet/blogger friends are a rare and treasured lifeline. All my life I've only known a handful of people who even tolerated poetry, much less lived, breathed, read and wrote it! But being away for a while has made me realize how precious you have all become to me and how your own poetry has awakened me, soothed me, enlightened me, slapped me in the face, inspired me, and just plain kept me going many days! Thank you all for sharing your hearts and souls with me.

I read all the comments and appreciate them all and thank you for them. Greetings to those of you who are new and please come back. I'm usually around much more often and will be back again soon!

I didn't know before reading this poem that the artist, Monet, did have eye problems and how it affected his art. This poem is a true blending of art and poetry. Read it slowly and enjoy! Hugs, Blessings and Love to you all!! ~Marion

Monet Refuses The Operation
by Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris and
what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life to
arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon does
not exist and sky and water,
long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom, the
illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world is
flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water, above
and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms and
how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.



Kelly said...

Fascinating poem!

I was so thrilled to see a new entry from you, but sorry that you still haven't been able to get your internet fixed at home. I've missed you!!!!

Got your card this week. Hope to write back sometime today....

Pam said...

Wonderful poem! Perhaps at the stage of my life I appreciate it even more. :)

Welcome back. Sorry about all the repair woes. I've had numerous cable and Internet woes lately. I also had to have my oven replaced. *Sigh* The replacement part was going to cost me as much as a new oven!!!! Sheesh!

It was NOT an expense I was counting on.

Margaret Pangert said...

hi, Marion~ I know what you mean about poetry: first you "get" it, and then it gets you. This poem paints the imagery of impressionism--though I didn't know the part about Monet's near blindness towards the end of his life--until you begin to see the immersion in light and water. Think of the Rouen cathedral and how it was as ephemeral as a dragonfly, depending on the time of day. Music does the same thing for me. Do you know "Paris Is a Lonely Town?" "The colors of Utrillo turn to grey, grey hues. . . The band playing Bizet along the Champs Elysees sounds like way down blues. Paris is a dreary, lonely--oh so lonely--town. . . " Well it makes life so much richer, doesn't it?

Woman in a Window said...

Oddly this reminds me of the character in Revolutionary Road who has shock treatment because he is apparently sick in the mind. But the treatment moves all the math from his mind and leaves him with his disordered thoughts anyway. We shouldn't treat that which makes us different but hold it dear instead.

It's good to read from you, now call your friend. How can you make it without all of this?