Sunday, September 3

poetry 1


My dream is I'm walking through Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

So says Gerald Stern in the poem "Lucky Life," which I love. Which I read to my students almost every day.

The first poem I memorized was "Jabberwocky": 'Twas Brillig and the slithy toves/ Did gyre and gimbol in the wabe/ All mimsy were the Borogroves/ And Mome-raths outgrabe." I was in third grade. Lewis Carroll.

Then came "The Lake Isle of Innisfree": "I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,/And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;/ Nine bean-rows will I have there, and a hive for the honey-bee,/ And live alone in the bee-loud glade." Yeats.

And then, in high-school, Eliot's Prufrock. The nearly-perfect poem: "Let us go then, you and I/ Where the evening is stretched out against the sky/ Like a patient, etherized upon a table." And in college, Prufrock, and in graduate school, Prufrock. Lucky life. Indeed.

More poetry this week, if you're interested.

Do you read it? Like it? Feel about it (anything)? Who, what, why/not?



Anonymous alyssa said...

Hi there,

Your Blog is lovely! My husband is a poet, so I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so many great poets. I'm not poet myself, but I love poetry. I have many favorites, one very dear poet is Jean Valentine. She is magnificent! I love the sound of her name and her poems.

1:05 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

oooh very excited to read more about poetry from you this week, it's one of my favourite things to read...
ps...thank-you for your happy birthday wishes x

1:16 AM  
Blogger Counting Mermaids said...

I've just bought a new old anthology of Thomas Hardy poetry. I love it. My all time favourite poet is John Donne and my favourite Australian poet is Gwen Harwood.

3:19 AM  
Blogger pixiegenne said...

all favorite poems of mine. thanks for sharing!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Alabam said...

Love "Lucky Life," thanks! I'm going on my annual Oregon coast trip with my family next week, so the timing is perfection. I also adore the poetry of Amy Gerstler.


9:04 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Prufrock is possibly my favorite poem as well. Recently, though, I've been in love with Edna St. Vincent Millay.

9:41 AM  
Blogger eireann said...

rebecca: ESVM was my first poetic love! I read her collected poems in high school and just adored them. I still like her very much.

Thanks, all, for your comments!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Dawbis said...

i wish i had a knack for poetry, but i'm afraid the meanings always eluded me. though, if i were to choose my favorite poet, it would have to be ee cummings. yes indeed!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

-William Carlos Williams

I used to read quite a bit of poetry but haven't in recent years. In recent years I haven't done much reading at all (one of the side effects I've experienced since having children). I'd say that when I do read I usually gravitate more toward fiction but there are poets and poems that have a deep resonance for me. Poems, like the one above, that will always be with me.

11:19 AM  
Blogger lisa s said...

oh eireann - school me in poetry....

when i read something that hits me - i am enthralled - but i often feel like i am treading water w/ no footing. perhaps this is what some people feel when they look at visual art

that is the arena where i feel like i know what i'm talking about...

poetry is an elusive wonderful mystery to me....

12:37 PM  
Blogger h&b said...

I still recite Jabberwocky ;)

7:08 PM  
Anonymous martha said...

of whaT
is nOt
what happeneD

i aM struck
by thE
tHat what happened
is mOre conventional
than what i remembereD

John Cage

(you lose some of the effect of the poem here in blogger -the words are soposed to be spaced so that the capitols read METHOD vertically....this probaby isn't technically a poem either, but is still my favorite)

9:10 PM  
Blogger Austen G. said...

Poetry...yes! Takes me back to some of my happiest school days, makes me wonder why it's not a bigger part of my life now. And my favourite? Beowulf. Now that's a poem! (Love WCW too...) Thanks for bringing me some good memories.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous melanie said...

The first poem I memorized was The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service - as I believe most Canadian school children did. I really started to love poetry in high school while reading Poe and in University it was all about ESVM - who is still one of my favourites. One of my all time favourites is Susan Musgrave. I stopped reading poetry for a while but this year I was determined to take it up again and so I put one of my old poetry texts in the bathroom. I know that sounds odd but I think it is the perfect place for it.

9:20 AM  
Blogger sp8cemunky said...

Poetry has become a big chunk of my life. I manage a poetry website and book poetry readings and write when I have time.
I think poetry is good to help slow down, something we can always do more.

Nice blog-wanted to say hi.

7:29 PM  
Blogger laura said...

Thanks for sharing a little of your poetry knowledge with us! I love hearing (or reading) someone talk about something they feel passionate about, it adds so much. I too love poetry, not many specific favorite authors - Hafiz is one - I'm attracted to poems by their feeling. I love the ones that make me feel like I'm outside in the grass spinning in circles...if that makes any kind of sense.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous laeroport said...

After my failed career as an art major, I turned to English with a creative writing emphasis - predominently poetry. I haven't written much in years, but I do so love reading your blog and recalling my love of poetry. John Donne, Blake, Emily, Tagore....Jabberwocky was my first too...

4:42 PM  
Blogger Lanea said...

Poetry obsessed, me. Can't live without it. Can't find enough people to talk about it with.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Jak said...

i have always wanted to recite Prufrock. it always seemed daunting to me. although I know it possible, I have never made that leap. perhaps in january.

greats posts. i dig your blog.

9:40 AM  

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