Friday, January 8, 2010

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds...

I very recently began to appreciate poetry. This is a good thing since English teachers are usually required to teach it. I've always liked lyrics (even when most of them don't make much sense), but poems just seemed a little dead in their seemingly purposeful attempt to complicate and confuse every topic. As it turns out (duh), not all poetry is like that. Or I am becoming more deep. Probably not.

After Mark famously proclaimed his desire to write a poem (he was inspired by the snowy scenery on our trip to Colorado), I went to buy him a book of poems and stumbled on pure gold. "Good Poems" selected by Garrison Keillor, is a terrific collection of poems that are really...good. I pushed them on everyone I could until Mark took it (his present) away from me. I stumbled over roots while reading them aloud to my parents on a hike in the nature center. I read them to Mark as he tried to sleep. I skipped around and marked favorites with bits of paper which soon fell out since I was too cheap to buy post-its...seriously, those things are overpriced!

Here are two poems from the book that I found online:

Address to the Lord
By: John Berryman

Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake,
inimitable contriver,
endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon,
thank you for such as it is my gift.

I have made up a morning prayer to you
containing with precision everything that most matters.
'According to Thy will' the thing begins.
It took me off & on two days. It does not aim at eloquence.

You have come to my rescue again & again
in my impassable, sometimes despairing years.
You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves
and I am still here, severely damaged, but functioning.

Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs:
How can I 'love' you?
I only as far as gratitude & awe
confidently & absolutely go.

I have no idea whether we live again.
It doesn't seem likely
from either the scientific or the philosophical point of view
but certainly all things are possible to you,

and I believe as fixedly in the Resurrection-appearances to Peter and
to Paul

as I believe I sit in this blue chair.
Only that may have been a special case
to establish their initiatory faith.

Whatever your end may be, accept my amazement.
May I stand until death forever at attention
for any your least instruction or enlightenment.
I even feel sure you will assist me again, Master of insight & beauty.

*I especially like the bit about his guinea pigs though of course it is sad.

By: Philip Appleman

O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme a break before I die:
grant me wisdom, will, & wit,
purity, probity, pluck, & grit.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind,
gimme great abs & a steel-trap mind,
and forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice-
these little blessings would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good-
and the good people nice;
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

There are more I love more but Mark took it away and so that's all I can share for now.

BUT, it has led me back to a little book of Love Poems that I have no idea how I came to possess. In my poetry greed I dared to give this one a shot and found to my delight that I enjoyed it too!

I thought this was kind of a gem for discussing something I have thought about but not known how to express. (I guess that is the magic and purpose of poetry.)

Love is Not

Love is not just a function of the eyes.
Beautiful objects will, of course, inspire
Possessive urges - you need not despise
Your taste. But when insatiable desire
Inflames you for a girl who's out of fashion,
Lacking in glamour - plain, in fact - that fire
is genuine; that's the authentic passion.
Beauty, though, any critic can appreciate.

Sometimes I thank God I'm not beautiful for this reason.

I do wonder how beautiful girls know and recognize true love though.

On an unrelated note, I think I broke my thumb. It's been hurting for a couple months now. Today I broke off the last of my front door handle on the Pink Lady and now I have to do a weird prying sort of thing that requires my thumb to open it. It hurts but Jeanelle and Sam are sick of hearing me whine about my stress fractured foot so I'm suffering in silence. Except for this post of course.


Mark said...

I am currently thoroughly enjoying it. I am going to go to sleep with this last one:

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

Smoxie said...

Somehow I missed this post. But I do love it.

And I really did love that love poem as well.

I bet the more you read poetry the more poetic your everyday writing and speech will become. Give it a try. And then call me. We'll hang out. I'll let you know if it's any different.