Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Weathering" by Fleur Adcock



My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.

But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn't care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that's all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.

If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it's little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.

By Fleur Adcock





For more about the poet, Fleur Adcock, see:


I love this poem because the poet says I am what I am and as I age I no longer care about pleasing anyone but myself and it's all superficial in comparison to the beauty of the world all around us.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" by James Wright



Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,   
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.   
Down the ravine behind the empty house,   
The cowbells follow one another   
Into the distances of the afternoon.   
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,   
The droppings of last year’s horses   
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.   
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

By James Wright



To find out more about the poet James Wright, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wright_(poet)

I love the meditative nature of this poem. I don't agree with the last line, but perhaps he is being ironic. Moments of reflection and contemplation of beauty are never wasted, I feel.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Sunset" by Rainer Maria Rilke



Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colours
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.

You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you

one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.


Leaving you, not really belonging to either,

not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,

not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing

that turns to a star each night and climbs--


leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)

your own life, timid and standing high and growing,

so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,

one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.



By Rainer Maria Rilke




For more about the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, see:





Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "For The Sake Of Strangers" by Dorianne Laux



No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.
And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.
All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another – a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a retarded child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.
Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must have once called to them –
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall weightless, away from the world.


by Dorianne Laux, from What We Carry (1994)




For more about the poet, Dorianne Laux, see:


I like this poem because it is careworn, a little lost, but carries the spark of optimism. When life presses hard upon us, sometimes it is the small kindnesses of strangers that lift our spirit and sustain us for another day.