Friday, September 25, 2009

From the Garden and Frenzy by Anne Sexton

It's not officially Autumn in my brain until the first Spider Lilies appear with their pretty orange/red spidery legs all upside down---or maybe they're right side up. These bloomed just yesterday and already the weather is cooler. It's like they hold the cool weather in their blooms and release it upon opening.

I'm beginning to feel wistful about the year(s) passing so swiftly. I remember when my kids were young, time seemed to slide by like pure cane syrup, slooooowwwly and oh, so golden! Now it's more like a runaway train with no brakes, all full-tilt-boogie headed for _______. You fill in the blank.

So, I'm in an Anne Sexton mood on this overcast, day of bruised clouds and not even a gossipy whisper of a breeze. I'll never forget the first time I read her poetry. I'm pretty sure my mouth fell open in surprise that a woman had finally spoken the truth from her soul. And that makes me think of this quote by Muriel Rukeyser: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open."

On that note, wishing you all a happy Friday and a blessed, peaceful weekend. ~Marion~

From the Garden
By Anne Sexton

Come, my beloved,
consider the lilies.
We are of little faith.
We talk too much.
Put your mouthful of words away
and come with me to watch
the lilies open in such a field,
growing there like yachts,
slowly steering their petals
without nurses or clocks.
Let us consider the view:
a house where white clouds
decorate the muddy halls.
Oh, put away your good words
and your bad words. Spit out
your words like stones!
Come here! Come here!
Come eat my pleasant fruits.


By Anne Sexton

I am not lazy.
I am on the amphetamine
of the soul.
I am, each day,
typing out the God
my typewriter believes in.
Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.
Not lazy. When a lazy
man, they say,
looks toward heaven,
the angels close the windows.

Oh angels,
keep the windows open
so that I may reach in
and steal each object,
objects that tell me the sea is not dying,
objects that tell me the dirt has a life-wish,
that the Christ who walked for me,
walked on true ground
and that this frenzy,
like bees stinging the heart all morning,
will keep the angels
with their windows open,
wide as an English bathtub.



Wine and Words said...

"Put your mouthful of words away...." Hmmmm. Lovely. And Marion, is that a real photograph of real flowers? I have never seen anything like it! Gorgeous. Looks like a painting. Have a glorious weekend dear friend.

Kelly said...

I think it was last week when I noticed the first spider lilies around here. I've always thought they were pretty.

Enjoyed getting a dose of Anne Sexton.

Marion said...

Annie, those are real flowers growing in my front yard. As you drive around my town, you see them sprouting up everwhere in late September. I'm pretty sure they'd grow where you live, so this coming spring, be sure to buy you some bulbs and you'll have them come Fall!!

I'm SOOO HAPPY you asked about them because I'm dying to educate Spider Lily neophytes on this funny Fall flower. Here's the poop on Spider Lilies for those of you who aren't blessed to have them:

This amaryllis relative has had other common names over the years, including Hurricane Lily and Schoolhouse lily---named because they bloom in hurricane season and, because we used to start school in September. It is also commonly called Naked Lady because it has a long, slim stem with no leaves. (I like Naked Lady---LOL!)

The botanical name is Lycoris radiata, and it's an easy-to-grow bulb that originated in Japan. The bulbs are at garden centers mostly in late winter and early spring. Plant red spider lily bulbs in the spring in fertile, organic-rich, well-drained beds in full or partial sun. Place the bulbs 3 to 4 inches deep, spacing 6 to 8 inches apart. Water the blooming spider lily well to extend its floral show as long as possible.

But you didn't expect a lecture on growing Spider Lilies, did you? Now if anyone else is curious, they've got the scoop on 'em.

Thanks for letting me expound. Love & Blessings!

Kelly, I noticed a few last week, but mine didn't bloom till this week. We went to the library this morning and I saw them everywhere I looked! Glad you enjoyed Ms. Sexton. Love & Blessings!

Phoenix said...

Happy Friday to you as well -- thanks for becoming an official follower, thanks for all your inspiration with your poetry and posts -- and I think an imagination keeps us richer and fuller than anything in our lives.

Meet you in Narnia someday for a picnic?

Marion said...

It's a date Ms. Phoenix Marion. LOL! I love your blog. You've had such an exciting life so far and I'm just happy to know you. It's no small thing to share your experiences so freely. Yes, a picnic in Narnia will be a pefect place for our first meeting. :-) Love & Blessings, wise poet-friend!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Thank you for exposing me to the poetry of Anne Sexton. What treasures her poems are!

Marion said...

Oh, Janelle, she was such a phenomenal poet!! She was one of the first female poets to write about real life---they called it 'confessional' poetry in the 1960's. She wrote about her depression, affairs, abuse, children, therapy, everything. She won the Pultizer in 1967. She was an amazingly talented woman. I'm glad you enjoyed her poems. Blessings!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

So sweet to read Sexton again - it's been too long. Lovely spider lilies too. Thanks.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Marion~ I've been showing visitors around New York the past few days so am sorry I've missed some posts. But I love the "metaphor" collage! When you're really deep into it, don't you feel you're "on the amphetamine of the soul?" There is no better feeling! xxox

Char said...

Lovely poetry. Those flowers are amazing. Thanks fo sharing. Have a great weekend.

Kay said...

September 22 marked the official turning to fall...mother nature still does not fail us, as just as quickly night turns to day and day to night, fall has sprung among us....delightful reads from Anne Sexten

Delwyn said...

Hi Marion

that spider plant of yours is lovely, we have a spider plant but a much bigger variety and it's white. I saw your one in Japan at the Zen Garden temple in Kyoto flowering at the end of summer too...
The first poem is a lovely invitation to watch...

Happy days

Woman in a Window said...

I am in love. Anne Sexten, yes, and this too, "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open."

I wondered at myself suddenly, Marion, having believed that I had looked and known and exposed, but suddenly at this prompt I looked again and saw there is more. There is always more. And I do want to expose it, whether the world will split open or not. And I do believe, do, that I know a man or two where the same might happen. These men have a pulse on something feminine. I wonder if it is the feminine that has this thrum only, or if that is the only way I can recognize it. If perhaps I am unable to see behind a thick wall of testosterone. Or do we each, every one of us, keep within ourselves a kernel so deep even we are afraid to look at it? So much to think of so early and all before work. I think today I'd like to not go to work and instead knock on your door. I'd like to bring a few friends and I'd like us all to open palms and share kernels.

But ah, I have to buy groceries.

And when will you read my cards? And will you promise not to frighten me?

much love,

Rikkij said...

Marion- I'm sorry, but I enjoyed your words more than hers. About pure cane syrup and runaway trains. I thought hard but don't wish to fill in the blank. Let's sit back and see where it takes us. Why must a destination always be filled out in our journey. I might linger here in your fall garden, and let the morning pass. Take care~rick

Kelly said...

Okay... I just went back and read your info on spider lilies and saw where you mentioned Naked Ladies. Now when I was visiting a friend in LR this summer (late July) she had something blooming in her yard that she called a Naked Lady (for the same reason, no leaves). Thinking back, I believe it was purple. Know what that might have been? I'll try to remember to ask her what the ones she has are really called. They weren't the fun spider lilies out everywhere now.

Marion said...

Whoa, thanks everyone for stopping by. I'm behind today.

Rick, thanks for that. What a compliment to be admired more than Anne Sexton! That's why I love you. You're such a kind person. Blessings, my poet-friend!

Erin, sent you an email. Promise not to act like you don't know me after you read it. Ha! Yes, I do believe that most of us keep a secret part of our selves that we share with no one. But age tends to unlock boxes, even those sealed for a lifetime...Blessings, my poet-friend!

Delwyn, oh, I'd love to visit Kyoto! I just read "Memoirs of a Geisha" and it made me long to go there! There is a white Spider Lily, but I've yet to find one locally. I tried buying bulbs through mail order in the past, but they never lived. I prefer to buy local or not at all. Blessings!

Kay, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the poems by Ms. Sexton. Blessings!!

Char, glad you enjoyed the flowers and poetry. Have a great weekend. Blessings!

Margaret, I saw you in the Big Apple on one of your blog photos and was envious. What fun you must be having in New York! I'm glad you enjoyed my collage. Oh, yeah, that one line "I am on the amphetamine of the soul." is worth a bundle, one of my favorite lines in both poems. I know the feeling when I'm writing or creating and everything just seems to fall into place. I appreciate you! Love, Hugs and Blessings!!

Renee said...

Guess what I am reading on your suggestion. A confederacy of dunces. Well I am killing myself laughing. Too fucking funny. Anytime Ignatious things anything I start laughing.

Loving it.

Love Renee xoxo

Marion said...

Renee, you do not know how HAPPY that makes me! I'm so happy you like the book and it's making you laugh. Laughter really is great medicine for the soul. I laugh my ass off every single time I read the book. It's truly a masterpiece. I'm still hunting my copy. We got some nice, free book shelves the library was giving away and my book babies are all in disarray! :-( But as soon as I find it, I'm going to read it again for the umpteenth time. I never get tired of it. Love & Blessings, friend of my heart....

Pam said...

I've been a huge fan of Sexton for decades! Have quite a few book of and on the lady. There was a period of time in my life when Sexton and Plath drew me in.

Loved your phrases "bruised clouds" and "gossipy whisper of a breeze"!!!!

Karen said...

I've gotten so caught up in the comments I have to go back to read the poems again! First - beautiful flowers, the likes of which I haven't seen either. Next - Anne Sexton! Yay! I love her work and can't think of a better reading for this gray Saturday. I'm also pondering the Rukeyser line. Maybe just too true.

Marion said...

Pammie! I remember that you loved both Sexton and Plath. Did you know they were acquainted? I have 3 biographies on both of them and they're riveting. My favorite on Anne Sexton is by her daughter, Linda Sexton: "Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother." But Diane Middlebrook wrote a riveting one, too: "Anne Sexton, A Biography". I love reading bios of poets & writers. Thanks for stopping by, my Texas neighbor. I hope all is well with you, Trish and the boys. Thanks for the compliment on my writing. Love & Blessings!

Karen, I thought you'd like Sexton. We seem to have a lot in common. Yes, some cloudy, rainy days just call for mood-altering poetry! LOL! My flowers are loving the rain, but the mosquitoes are taking over our part of the earth. Yikes! I get 3 or 4 bites taken out of me every time I go out the screen door. Thanks for stopping in. Blessings!

Angela Recada said...

LOVE love love Anne Sexton! I've read the Middlebrook bio of her, too. Very compelling.

I hope you had a terrific weekend, and hope your week brings you many, many good things.

Hugs and love,