Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rylance recites Walking Through A Wall - This year's Tonys

More Jenkins/Rylance. Acceptance speech this year's Tonys, turns again to another poem by Wisconsin poet Louis Jenkins Walking Through A Wall

Mark Rylance accepts his Tony - 2008

The speech is a poem by the Poet Louis Jenkins

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Own Heart

The Writers Almanac: My Own Heart
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather — as skies
Betweenpie mountains — lights a lovely mile.

Today is the birthday of English poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844) (books by this author), born in Stratford, Essex. He won a poetry prize in grammar school and then received a grant to study at Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied Classics and continued to write poetry. His academic record was outstanding, earning him the approbation of one of his masters, who called him "the star of Balliol." While he was at Oxford, Hopkins (who had been raised in the Anglican Church) converted to Roman Catholicism. His experience was so profound that he decided to become a Jesuit priest in 1868, and he burned all his poetry, feeling it was not befitting his profession as a clergyman. He did continue to keep a journal, however, and in 1875, he returned to poetry. He was living in Wales, and found its landscape and its language inspirational. When five Franciscan nuns died in a shipwreck, he was moved to write a long poem, The Wreck of the Deutschland. Once he was ordained in 1877, he worked as a parish priest in the slums of Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow. He lived in Dublin from 1884 until his death of typhoid fever in 1889. Overworked, exhausted, and unwell, he wasn't happy there, and his poetry reflects his unhappiness. Called the "terrible sonnets," they show the poet's struggles with spiritual and artistic matters. Most of his poetry wasn't published in his lifetime, and it was so innovative that most people who did get to read it didn't understand it. As he wrote in a letter to Burns, "No doubt, my poetry errs on the side of oddness ..." But it influenced such 20th-century poets as W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and Charles Wright

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Toward Paris

The Writers Almanac : Toward Paris [ed note: I know how he feels] - by Peter Makuck

My first time on the night train
I couldn't sleep

With expectation, the lucky
Shapes of houses wrapped in dream—

Trees slowed, then creaked to a stop.
4:00 a.m. under country stars.

Lower the window: new air,
A deserted dirt road and

A peasant pedaling away,
A wand-like loaf in his hand,

Tail-light growing weak
Red in the dark, as if his work

Was to bring fresh light
To woods and fields. He did,

Keeping me there at that
Balanced blue hour even later

In the Sainte Chappelle,
The blur of the Louvre and after.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The daisy follows soft the sun

The daisy follows soft the sun
by Emily Dickinson

The daisy follows soft the sun,
And when his golden walk is done,
Sits shyly at his feet.
He, waking, finds the flower near.
"Wherefore, marauder, art thou here?"
"Because, sir, love is sweet!"

We are the flower, Thou the sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline,
We nearer steal to Thee, —
Enamoured of the parting west,
The peace, the flight, the amethyst,
Night's possibility!
"The daisy follows soft the sun..." by Emily Dickinson. Public domain