Saturday, January 10, 2009

This weekend's Marianne Moore

Nor can we dignify confusion by calling it baroque.

from The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore, p. 420

Bob Dylan in the background

"You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat."

I like the line ... but what the heck does it mean???

Friday, January 09, 2009

My heart in hiding stirred for a bird

For all you Hopkinsians! Ange Mlinko at poetryfoundation.org explores "The Windhover."

Coffee

by J. V. Cunningham (1911-86)

When I awoke with cold
And looked for you, my dear,
And the dusk inward rolled,
Not light or dark, but drear,

Unabsolute, unshaped,
That no glass can oppose,
I fled not to escape
Myself, but to transpose.

I have so often fled
Wherever I could drink
Dark coffee and there read
More than a man would think

That I say I waste time
For contemplation's sake:
In an uncumbered clime
Minute inductions wake,

Insight flows in my pen.
I know no fear nor haste.
Time is my own again.
I waste it for the waste.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm posting these a little late for the Epiphany

... but here are two poems, sent by a faithful reader of this blog, Maria H., to whom we offer sincerest thanks!

THAT NIGHT THEY ALL GATHERED ON THE HIGHEST TOWER

That night they all gathered on the highest tower:
Astronomers, mathematicians, and one of the magi from Syria
To read in the stars the glory of the King of Kings,
And demonstrate his immortality with the aid of geometry.

Just before dawn, they nodded their heads in accord
With one another's interpretations. The answer of the stars
Was positive. The trumpets announced
The glory of the King of Kings to the rising sun.

In the palace, at the table set for the feast, they were awaited
By the one to whom the stars gave their word tonight,
And whose future now overflowed like new wine
Which in the golden chalices awaited the toasts.

Only some youth who had recently mastered geometry,
Was not fully convinced by what was read in the stars,
For the stars always give their answer to mortals
But to what question, only they themselves know.

~ Jovan Hristić (1933-2002), Serbian poet,
translated by Charles Simic, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2007


*

THE FOURTH WISE MAN

The fourth wise man
disliked travel. If
you walk, there's the
gravel. If you ride,
there's the camel's attitude.
He far preferred
to be inside in solitude
to contemplate the star
that had been getting
so much larger
and more prolate lately --
stretching vertically
(like the souls of martyrs)
toward the poles
(or like the yawns of babies).

~ Kay Ryan, b. 1945, current Poet Laureate of the United States

via TSO, a meme!

"which involves posting the first line from your first post of every month."

December: Monday of the first week of Advent.

November: All Saints' Day.

October: Hayden Carruth, poet, anthologist, sometime editor of Poetry magazine, author of from snow and rock, from chaos (1973) and Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey (1990s), editor of the important anthology The Voice that is Great Within Us (1970), has died at age 87.

September: Via the Mere Comments blog Bishop Sheen on "What's My Line" :

August: I was walking, one afternoon in August, along a riverbank, thinking the same thoughts that I always think when I walk along a riverbank in August.

July: As of yesterday I have surpassed Dylan Thomas (d. aetat. 39 yrs., 13 days) in the longevity department.

June: To John Keats, Poet, At Spring Time by Countee Cullen (1903-46) (For Carl Van Vechten) I cannot hold my peace, John Keats; There never was a spring like this; It is an echo, that repeats My last year's song and next year's bliss.

May: The May Magnificat by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844-89) May is Mary's month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: Her feasts follow reason, Dated due to season— Candlemas, Lady Day; But the Lady Month, May, Why fasten that upon her, With a feasting in her honour?

April: a conjecture : seeking ghostly intercession Oh, to be he, with snakes in the jakes!

March: Andrew Sullivan blogs some correspondence from someone who laments the fact that some Catholic bishops are actually, you know, Catholic.

February: Sister Wendy on Prayer page 71 Even for Catholics, the Eucharist is something mysterious.

January: New Beginning We're overdue for a Tracy Chapman video.

Domine, ne in furore ...

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am weak

Psalm 6:2