Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Embarrassment by Wendell Berry & The Hinge of Spring by Kay Ryan

A few Spring-ly girls from my Willow Tree angel collection.   Not that we have many actual flowers yet.  Our Winter has been so 'real' this year(!) that not even my Azaleas are blooming.  We had four or five snows and a few ice storms (totally unheard of in the 25 years I've lived here).  The best part of that weather is we also have no mosquitoes yet...or snakes.  Yea! They're usually swarming/slitering by this late in March. 
But I did see my first Hummingbirds yesterday.  My cat, Garfield, was in the window and his ears starting twitching wildly.  I looked outside and saw two Hummingbirds buzzing the empty feeder.  I had to fill it for them.  They're early by a few weeks, usually arriving the first week of April.  I hope Spring has sprung where you are.
I heard these poems on NPR's Writer's Almanac last week and they both just resonated in my heart, like a bell rung with a crystal clear, cleansing tone, washing my soul and lifting my spirit.  I hope you enjoy them.  The second one, "The Hinge" by Kay Ryan, is no less important than the first, IMO.  xo
An Embarrassment
by Wendell Berry

"Do you want to ask
the blessing?"

"No. If you do,
go ahead."

He went ahead:
his prayer dressed up

in Sunday clothes
rose a few feet

and dropped with a soft

If a lonely soul
did ever cry out

in company its true
outcry to God,

it would be as though
at a sedate party
a man suddenly
removed his clothes

and took his wife
passionately into his arms.

"An Embarrassment" by Wendell Berry from Leavings
Hey, again,
Long time, no see! as my sweet Aunt Mace used to say.  I've been in full Winter mode the past month, reading the "Game of Thrones" books and I fell off the face of the earth into Winterfeld and surrounding regions.  I've seen a few seasons of the HBO series, but, of course, the books are always better.  (I need a tee-shirt with that on it.)  My oldest daughter gave me a boxed set of five of the books in the series...over 4,000 pages of adventure, intrigue, romance, life, love, death, mystery, ghosts, and all points in between.  There's nothing better than an intriguing, well-written series.  You know when you finish one book that there are more waiting.  A book-slut such as myself's dream.
Since Spring is virtually here I thought I should crawl out of my cave, shower (ha! ha!) and post a few poems.  I've also been reading lots of the poets Charles Wright and Wendell Berry.  I have several of their books and dove into them feet first.  They're equally amazing poets, in different ways, of course.
I've only read Kay Ryan in anthologies, but I love her writing.  I plan to look up some of her books at the library.
My pain levels have been off the charts with this schizo weather...freezing one day, humid rain the next, so I've been walking trying to reduce the pain and bitching, bitching, bitching...which really does help...a lot!!  I freaking hate taking medications for it because all it does is mask the pain, but c'est la vie, right?
Happy Reading,
by Kay Ryan
The jackrabbit is a mild herbivore
grazing the desert floor,
quietly abridging spring,
eating the color off everything
rampant-height or lower.

Rabbits are one of the things
coyotes are for. One quick scream,
a few quick thumps,
and a whole little area
shoots up blue and orange clumps.

"The Hinge of Spring" by Kay Ryan from The Best of It: New and Selected Poems.
"The Best of It" by Kay Ryan


erin said...

i love this ryan poem, marion. i almost want to give her a slap on the rump for it, its unforgiving nature and playfulness.

(i was reading about the vernal equinox this morning, laughing my ass off. they were talking about worms breaking soil. i thought what a joke northern ontario is to worms with our four feet of snow and more snow presently falling. enjoy that heat before it becomes severe, although i understand how the swing in cycles affects the body through pain.)


Karen said...

Well, misery loves company, but I don't wish this winter weather on anyone. We never miss school, and our kids have missed 21 days since January. Between our poisoned water and this Polar Everything, I'm about to snap some jackrabbit myself!

I heard this Berry poem, too, and loved it so much, but I confess to not having read his work. Ditto for Kay Ryan, although I do see her occasionally in anthologies.

I also confess to doing a lot of art journal doodling and not so much reading lately. I'm trying doodling as a mindfulness activity. Not sure it's working, but it am loving the feel anyway.

I hope your pain abates soon, Marion. No fun and no fair!

Thanks for always being here with your wit and style.5

Kelly said...

I have a Willow Tree Angel - the one holding a puppy. :)

We're still getting colder than my liking at night, but yes!! Spring IS springing, if not fully sprung!

I've been immersed in Colleen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series (thousands of pages) for quite awhile and will finish the final book before long. I have plenty of books waiting in the wings, but will still probably grieve a bit.

Ces Adorio said...

HELLOOOOOO!!! What a sweet visit from you. Thank you. Your comment made me smile. Yes, "that woman" who thinks she speaks for every woman just because she is a woman. and thinks so highly of herself. I just cannot stand a group of women who arrogantly prescribe confidence by telling us what not to say. Pfft!

The poem about the jackrabbit is a sweet picture of spring. "An Embarrassment" rather surprised me, wow. It is a nice punctuation to my day. I am so glad you are still blogging. I have been trying to get back to blogging again. Today is the first day I had my computer back after a month-long restore. It was rather a welcome change, being disconnected. Have a wonderful weekend.

Serena said...

Your Spring-ly girls are just precious! It sounds like your Winter has been as brutal as ours here in VA. To describe it as "schizo" is perfect! I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. It's hard to imagine you having snow and ice. Crazy! Glad you survived it and can't wait to see pix of your spring & summer flowers -- which are always glorious.

quid said...

ML -

I still have my small collection of Willow Tree angels as well. Something so pretty about their stripped finery as opposed to celestial costumes.

Between Kelly's recommendation for Masters of Rome and you now telling me for the first time (! that Game of Thrones was a book series before TV... my lord, I've got a lot of great tips for historical reading. Now to find the time!


Wine and Words said...

Been talking quite a bit about prayer lately. I do so love The Embarrassment"! Prayer, at the very least, should be passionate. So often we hear it served up like vanilla...creamy and thick with the lack of color. My Azaleas are in full bloom. Seems odd, since we've had continual rain and gloom for about a week now. Guess they just wanted to be hopeful :)

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Completely understand about your pain levels being tied to the weather. I, too, disappeared from my blog for a bit. Trying to catch up by visiting people I've been neglecting for too long.