Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Poets, Players, Passionate Phrases....

"The Devil"

By Polly Jean Harvey

As soon as I'm left alone
The devil wanders into my soul

And I pretend to myself

And I pretend to myself

I go out
To the old milestone
Insanely expecting
You to come there

Knowing that I wait for you there
That I wait for you there



Come here at once



On a night with no moon

Because all of my being is now in pining
All of my being is now in pining

What formerly had cheered me
Now seems




How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual

by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.
To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota,
and don't even notice, close this manual.


"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." ~Audra Foveo


Peace, Poems, Prolixity,



Pam said...

Love it! Love it! Love it!

Kelly said...

I love that guide to reading poetry. I think that's always been one of my hang-ups. One of my daughter's and I have always complained that nothing is worse than an English teacher that thinks you have to find certain meanings in poems/prose. Sometimes we read things for face value. Sometimes it might mean one thing to me and another to you. I've had to learn to appreciate poetry for what "I" get out of it! I like to think there's no real right or wrong.

Kelly said...

ooops. Shouldn't have used that apostrophe on daughters. Grammar is another one of my hang-ups thanks to my mother who was a stickler for it....

quid said...

How I love the Wagner poem!!!

"Treat a poem like dirt...."

what a line!

Thanks for "unearthing" this for us.