Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ode on Solitude

How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie. -- Alexander Pope

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Father's Gren Flannel Shirt

My Father's Green Flannel Shirt by Andrea Hollander Budy

He wore it when he mowed the grass, walked the dog,
lounged with the Sunday papers. Whether
it was his favorite, I'm not sure, the way
I'm not sure if he cared for me
more than for my brother. When I was a child,
he would pull me aside sometimes
and tell me a secret – perhaps about his sister
or one of the brothers he wasn't speaking to,
a few times about my mother, whom I knew he loved –
but always something that nagged at him.

Afterwards he would tell me not to tell anyone,
then walk away whistling the way
Alec Guinness, in The Bridge on the River Kwai,
walked away whistling when they let him out
of solitary confinement, as if he knew
something wonderful and important
and no one could scare it out of him.
Sometimes at dinner, my father would whistle
that same tune. And wink at me.

How I loved being in cahoots with him. Loved
feeling chosen, being the one selected to receive.
I took each secret into me and kept it.

"My Father's Green Flannel Shirt" by Andrea Hollander Budy from Woman in the Painting. © Autumn House Press, 2006.

Friday, October 15, 2010

On Punctuation by Elizabeth Austen

On Punctuation by Elizabeth Austen

not for me the dogma of the period
preaching order and a sure conclusion
and no not for me the prissy
formality or tight-lipped fence
of the colon and as for the semi-
colon call it what it is
a period slumming
with the commas
a poser at the bar
feigning liberation with one hand
tightening the leash with the other
oh give me the headlong run-on
fragment dangling its feet
over the edge give me the sly
comma with its come-hither
wave teasing all the characters
on either side give me ellipses
not just a gang of periods
a trail of possibilities
or give me the sweet interrupting dash
the running leaping joining dash all the voices
gleeing out over one another
oh if I must
punctuate
give me the YIPPEE
of the exclamation point
give me give me the curling
cupping curve mounting the period
with voluptuous uncertainty

"On Punctuation" by Elizabeth Austen, from The Girl Who Goes Alone. © Floating Bridge Press, 2010.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

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 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

He was born Edward Estlin Cummings in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1894), who penned nearly 3,000 poems, a couple of autobiographical novels, and several essays and plays.

He majored in classics at Harvard, gave a controversial graduation speech on modern art, worked for a mail-order bookseller, got bored, and volunteered along with his college writer friend John Dos Passos for an ambulance corps serving in France during World War I. It was in 1917, and partly to entertain himself and see what the censors would do, he wrote provocative letters espousing anti-war views and professing not to hate those enemy Germans. The French censors intercepted the letters and put him in a military detention camp on suspicion of espionage.

He got out of jail because his dad was well-connected, and came home a few months later, just in time for Christmas that year. He was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to infantry training camp. About five years later, in 1922, he published The Enormous Room, an autobiographical novel in which he made fun of the prison guards and sympathized with his fellow inmates at the camp. One biographer noted: "Cummings' account of his imprisonment was oddly cheerful in tone and freewheeling in style. He depicted his internment camp stay as a period of inner growth." He was only 28 years old when the book was published, and the book made him famous.

He published a few volumes of poetry and took a job as a traveling correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. In the afternoons he painted and in the evenings he wrote, a routine he kept up for the rest of his life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Signature Mark of Autumn

The Signature Mark of Autumn by Gary Young

The signature mark of autumn has arrived at last
with the rains: orange of
pumpkin, orange persimmon, orange lichen on rocks
and fallen logs; a copper
moon hung low over the orchard; moist, ruddy limbs
of the madrone, russet
oak leaf, storm-peeled redwood, acorns emptied
by squirrels and jays; and
mushrooms, orange boletes, Witch's Butter sprouting
on rotted oak, the Deadly
Galeria, and of course, chanterelles, which we'll eat
tonight with pasta, goat
cheese, and wine.

"The Signature Mark of Autumn" by Gary Young, from Pleasure. © Heyday Books, 2006.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Epigrams

Faults by Sara Teasdale

They came to tell your faults to me,
They named them over one by one;
I laughed aloud when they were done,
I knew them all so well before, —
Oh, they were blind, too blind to see
Your faults had made me love you more

************************************

Chapter Heading by Ernest M. Hemingway

For we have thought the longer thoughts
    And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devils’ tunes,
    Shivering home to pray;
To serve one master in the night,
    Another in the day.
.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

e e cummings - anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain