poetry

Dec 212013
 

I recommend you re-read all of Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress, but I will jump to the punchline here. peace, mjh

Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

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 Posted by at 10:11 am on Sat 12/21/13
May 062013
 

Speaking of me, you may have noticed my twin interests: photography and poetry. I think of them separately, but both are creative expressions or the Universe talking back to itself visually versus verbally. I hesitate to bring the two together in the most obvious way, which would be to associate a poem and a photo. Foremost, there is "the thing not named," a concept I get from Willa Cather, although it is older and widely practiced. I have felt that if one *needed* to explain a poem, something went wrong (possibly in the reader’s head, not mine). The urge to explain is strong in me and all of my poems arise in a context that I could document and my 3 readers might even enjoy that.

I’m certain a poem and a photo could work together, but I’m reluctant to yoke the two together, to require you to see what I see in a poem or hear what I hear in a photo. I don’t even want to do that to myself, let alone to you, Dear Reader.

However, some things go together like [insert one thing] and [insert something that goes with that]. For example,

chaco  05-06-13 0007

Of course, over a period of 30 years, I’ve taken a lot of photos of Merri, any one of which might work as well here. And, she figures into more than one poem. But these two are a good fit, you have to admit.

Likewise, the pairing of my preaching raven with Wind Makes Crazy.

Poetry and photography are always on my mind, but in particular, I’ve wanted for quite a while to produce a book of either or both. Maybe someday.

 Posted by at 2:22 pm on Mon 05/06/13
Jun 012012
 

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

Language is fossil poetry. As the limestone of the continent consists of infinite masses of the shells of animalcules, so language is made up of images, or tropes, which now, in their secondary use, have long ceased to remind us of their poetic origin. But the poet names the thing because he sees it, or comes one step nearer to it than any other. This expression, or naming, is not art, but a second nature, grown out of the first, as a leaf out of a tree.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

But the highest minds of the world have never ceased to explore the double meaning, or, shall I say, the quadruple, or the centuple, or much more manifold meaning, of every sensuous fact.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

 Posted by at 11:47 pm on Fri 06/01/12
Jun 012012
 

Preach it, Waldo! I have on many an occasion ‘released my intellect from all service’. Levity aside, these two phrases move me. peace, mjh

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

The poet knows that he speaks adequately, then, only when he speaks somewhat wildly, or, "with the flower of the mind;" not with the intellect, used as an organ, but with the intellect released from all service, and suffered to take its direction from its celestial life; or, as the ancients were wont to express themselves, not with intellect alone, but with the intellect inebriated by nectar. As the traveller who has lost his way, throws his reins on his horse’s neck, and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world. For if in any manner we can stimulate this instinct, new passages are opened for us into nature, the mind flows into and through things hardest and highest, and the metamorphosis is possible.Note

This is the reason why bards love wine, mead, narcotics, coffee, tea, opium, the fumes of sandal-wood and tobacco, or whatever other species of animal exhilaration.Note All men avail themselves of such means as they can, to add this extraordinary power to their normal powers; and to this end they prize conversation, music, pictures, sculpture, dancing, theatres, travelling, war, mobs, fires, gaming, politics, or love, or science, or animal intoxication, which are several coarser or finer quasi-mechanical substitutes for the true nectar, which is the ravishment of the intellect by coming nearer to the fact. These are auxiliaries to the centrifugal tendency of a man, to his passage out into free space, and they help him to escape the custody of that body in which he is pent up,Note and of that jail-yard of individual relations in which he is enclosed.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

I still recall lying on my kitchen floor saying, "my mind is struggling to be free from my body." You can imagine what followed immediately. On a different occasion, I awoke with the clear sensation of having fallen from a great height as I returned to my body.

But Waldo was no libertine, passing a joint to a wanna-be-poet.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

But never can any advantage be taken of nature by a trick. The spirit of the world, the great calm presence of the creator, comes not forth to the sorceries of opium or of wine. The sublime vision comes to the pure and simple soul in a clean and chaste body.Note That is not an inspiration which we owe to narcotics, but some counterfeit excitement and fury. Milton says, that the lyric poet may drink wine and live generously, but the epic poet, he who shall sing of the gods, and their descent unto men, must drink water out of a wooden bowl. For poetry is not ‘Devil’s wine,’ but God’s wine. It is with this as it is with toys. We fill the hands and nurseries of our children with all manner of dolls, drums, and horses, withdrawing their eyes from the plain face and sufficing objects of nature, the sun, and moon, the animals, the water, and stones, which should be their toys.So the poet’s habit of living should be set on a key so low and plain, that the common influences should delight him.Note His cheerfulness should be the gift of the sunlight; the air should suffice for his inspiration, and he should be tipsy with water. That spirit which suffices quiet hearts, which seems to come forth to such from every dry knoll of sere grass, from every pine-stump, and half-imbedded stone, on which the dull March sun shines, comes forth to the poor and hungry, and such as are of simple taste. If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shalt find no radiance of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pinewoods.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

Go outside. Get tipsy on cool, clean water. Don’t seek eagles while casting stones at pigeons. Love your place.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

Doubt not, O poet, but persist.Note Say, ‘It is in me, and shall out.’ Stand there, baulked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until, at last, rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity.

EMERSON – ESSAYS – THE POET

 Posted by at 4:47 am on Fri 06/01/12
May 312012
 

Passage by John Brehm | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Passage

by John Brehm

In all the woods that day I was
the only living thing
fretful, exhausted, or unsure.
Giant fir and spruce and cedar trees
that had stood their ground
three hundred years
stretched in sunlight calmly
unimpressed by whatever
it was that held me
hunched and tense above the stream,
biting my nails, calculating all
my impossibilities.
Nor did the water pause
to reflect or enter into
my considerations.
It found its way
over and around a crowd
of rocks in easy flourishes,
in laughing evasions and
shifts in direction.
Nothing could slow it down for long.
It even made a little song
out of all the things
that got in its way,
a music against the hard edges
of whatever might interrupt its going.

"Passage" by John Brehm, from Help is on the Way. © The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012.

Passage by John Brehm | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

 Posted by at 9:42 am on Thu 05/31/12
May 272012
 

Remember by Christina Rossetti : The Poetry Foundation

Remember

By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894 Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,

         Gone far away into the silent land;

         When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

         You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

         Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

         For if the darkness and corruption leave

         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

         Than that you should remember and be sad.

Remember by Christina Rossetti : The Poetry Foundation

 Posted by at 9:32 am on Sun 05/27/12