Saturday, February 22, 2014

Charles Wright, Extraordinary Poet

Got a used first edition in perfect shape.  Thank God for used books.
As often happens with magnificent poetry, I wanted to burn everything I'd written after reading this book, especially the title poem, "Buffalo Yoga".  Holy, holy, holy.  Thank you, Erin (you were so right about this poem...should be read aloud), for introducing me to this poet.  There is no joy better than discovering a new poet, especially through a friend.  I owe you one.  :-)
My good book karma continues with this book which I got in the mail today.  I ordered a used copy from Amazon and ended up with a pristeen, AUTOGRAPHED copy of this book.  I laugh because this happens all the's part of the mystique of buying used books.  You never know what you'll get: love notes, autographs, photographs, bookmarks, more notes...I love them all.
I can only say this today:  READ CHARLES WRIGHT's POETRY!
I tried and tried to pick out a poem to share, but I couldn't make up my mind.  "Buffalo Yoga" is a long, delicious poem and I couldn't break out a piece no more than I can cut a piece of the sky.  So I looked around and found this slice of a poem from his poem titled, "Polaroids".  Of course, I was immediately drawn to the dragonfly imagery in the last verse...  Enjoy.
From:  POLAROIDS by Charles Wright
The lapis lazuli dragonflies
                                             of postbelief, rising and falling near
The broken slab wood steps, now one by one, now in pairs,
Are not the dragonflies of death with their blue-black eyes.
These are the tiny ones, the stems, the phosphorescent,
Rising and falling like drowned playthings.
They come and they disappear. They come back and they disappear.

Horizon-hump of pine bristles on end toward the south,
Breath-stealer, cloudless drop cloth
Of sky,
             the great meadow beneath like a mirror face down in the earth,
Accepting nothing, giving it back.
We’ll go, as Mandelstam tells us, into a growing numbness of time,
Insoluble, as long as landscape, as indistinct.


*Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891 - 1938) was a Russian poet and essayist who lived in Russia during and after its revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. He was one of the foremost members of the Acmeist school of poets.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Chasing the moon, 2009
By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
Spring is arriving late this year to the swamps. I let all of my precious potted plants die, so I'll be starting anew with fresh everything come Spring.  Thank God for seeds.  No flowers or blooms yet, only a few brave weeds. 

 Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Notes on the Art of Poetry by Dylan Thomas

Illustration from Pinterest.  Me.
Notes on the Art of Poetry
by Dylan Thomas
I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.