Saturday, April 03, 2004

I am an early riser. Was up this Saturday morning at 6:00 am. Knitted some, padded around, wrote a letter. Finally gave into what I really wanted to do: dig in the dirt. Checked out my crocuses, tulips, irises, chives: all early bloomers. Planted my peas, as they love the cold.

I am a late bloomer, however. I'm only just starting to get a notion of what I am, what I like, what I want to do with myself. Much as I love the early buds and blooms, I sympathize more with the second crop of lettuce, the squash, the kale, the lavender, the gentian:

Fringed Gentian

God made a little gentian;
It tried to be a rose
And failed, and all the summer laughed.
But just before the snows
There came a purple creature
That ravished all the hill;
And summer hid her forehead,
And mockery was still.
The frosts were her condition;
The Tyrian would not come
Until the North evoked it.
"Creator! shall I bloom?"

-Emily Dickinson

Friday, April 02, 2004

I have a little tradition: I like to go to the beach on my Birthday in January. On calm days, with just the cold light, the cutting breeze and me, it's a good place to organize my thoughts. On wilder ones, the crashing waves, the wind, the steel gray sky seem to be great agents of cleansing my mind for the upcoming year.

For so many years, I lived in landlocked country near two great lakes. Here, I get the Atlantic. Though I love the former place, I don't know if it could ever measure up the coast and the Ocean - immeasurably huge, horrifying in its destructiveness but comforting in its indifference to me. Swimming isn't a possibility for me, not now, not yet. I'm too frightened. I will, however, dip my toes in or take a taste. That all seems safe enough.

Then there's that smell. I long for that cool, watery, salty smell that comes on the breezes even as far inland as across town. It's gotten into my blood, I'm afraid. It's now a craving, a physical need.

El Mar

Un solo ser, pero no hay sangre.
Una sola caricia, muerte o rosa.
Viene el mar y reune nuestras vidas
y solo ataca y se reparte y canta
en noche y dia y hombre y criatura.
La esencia: fuego y frio: movimiento.

-Pablo Neruda

The Sea

A single entity, but no blood.
A single caress, death or a rose.
The sea comes in a nd puts our lives together
and attacks alone and spreads itself and sings
in nights and days and men and living creatures.
Its essence - fire and cold; movement, movement.

-translation by Alastair Reid

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I was thinking on opening with either some Whitman (a flowery, wordy Salut au Monde) or Neruda (something sparse but springlike).

Then it hit me on my walk to work. What a novel idea of spring we have here in New England. Wandering down the streets in my lined raincoat, wool hat, gloves, highwaters, face unprotected from the still cutting wind and icy spitting - I was thinking of April showers bringing May flowers as well as April ice storms killing early buds. This was a brutal winter. It's still holding on, but its grasp feels like it's loosening a bit. I'm hopeful. But I'm not giving up the winter mindset just yet:

The Snowman

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wallace Stevens

Happy Spring, happy start of Poetry month, and happy April Fools Day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

In case you were wondering - I'm a girl. I'm in my early thirties. I live and work just to the north of Boston, MA. I am neither a poet nor a writer, though I understand enough to appreciate what I consider good poetry and prose. I am a bureaucrat, plain and simple. April is a treat to me, not only for the change of seasons, but for the excuse it gives me to impose my love of poetry (and pontification on poetry) on others. If you're not into that, there're plenty of other places to take your business.

I do have another blog where I write mainly on the petit train-train of my existence. There's a fair amount on music, knitting, film, politics. Please feel free to visit that if you'd like.
Welcome to my little poetry corner. I hope you enjoy this offering for National Poetry Month. Please feel free to discuss any of the entries - that's what they're there for. Although I'm just posting what moves me at the time, I do take requests. If you have any suggestions, please do send me a note. I'd love to hear from you!