A little time in the sun

  

 The fact that we are in the dead center of poetry month is probably not common knowledge. “Rendering unto Caesar what is due Caesar” and similarly pressing matters take precedence for good reason.

Still for the few of us who were silly enough to major in English and even more audacious to teach it, it’s comforting to know that there is one time in the year when our esoteric passions are appreciated. I can’t speak for others but I’m definitely glad poetry gets put on the pedestal once in awhile. It’s hard to imagine a life without it and my sense is that there are many other searchers and romantics who feel similarly intoxicated by the written word, particularly when used so deftly.

Poetry, like music, is odd and often quite shocking to the senses. The existential origins of both are inescapable. The human condition is a challenging experience to say the least and I guess self-expression helps us realize it’s better to try to reconcile the tensions creatively then let them overwhelm us.

That being said, I can’t imagine any poet, musician or artist for that matter who feels like he/she has a conventional thought process. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be as good at their craft.  Poetry and poetic living require a tremendous amount of solitude, self-consciousness and risk taking, which is both good and bad when trying to navigate the confusing waters of the world around us. It’s not easy to be self and socially conscious simultaneously.

I have read about the various ways we can celebrate National Poetry Month. Like many other hackers, I have tried my hand at writing at least a couple of poems during this month and the results have been mixed. But just as in poetry, there really are no set rules, so I’ve decided to use this blog to give a little plug to two of my favorite poems. Rather than giving my spin on them, I prefer to let the poems speak for themselves. Great poems endure for a reason.

I certainly hope that you like them, and if you want to comment, any feedback is appreciated.    These works have not just inspired my various forms of writing, but have really given shape to the way I think and live. 

These are just two of hundreds of awesome poems that deserve limelight during this special month. The way I see it, every day should be a celebration of poetry but a full month of recognition sure is a good start. 

 

 Since Feeling is First, e.e. cummings


since feeling is first

who pays any attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool

while Spring is in the world


my blood approves,

and kisses are a better fate

than wisdom

lady i swear by all flowers.  Don’t cry

—the best gesture of my brain is less than

your eyelids’ flutter which says


we are for each other: then

laugh, leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph


And death i think is no parenthesis


~ e.e. Cummings

 

The Waking

BY THEODORE ROETHKE

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.
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