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I just finished Barry’s awesome book, Syllabus – Notes from an Accidental Professor. Should I call it a book? It’s a unique compilation of her notes. The library had it in the Graphic Novel section.

Read this! It’s so compelling. Where do images come from?
Lynda_Barry_Syllabus
I think this comment applies to poetry as well, right? “What happens to a poem because of what we think?” Nothing!

I love that she made her students memorize a couple of Emily Dickinson poems like this one:

The Lost Thought
I felt a cleaving in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

“Ravelled.” Don’t you love that?

An Anthem Against Silence Play this to remind yourself.  Play this to motivate yourself instead of just ranting against you-know-who (my apologies to Lord Voldemort).

Thanks to Maria Popova and Brainpickings.org

 

PROTEST

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

I spent this afternoon writing poetry annotations for a non-fiction book I’m working on.  It has been enlightening.

Somehow my self-talk got to admonishing myself to trust myself.

I thought of this Najumi quote:

najumi_quote

I have a corollary to that idea.

trust

“The woman who trusts herself is the safest person on the planet.” – Pat Edwards, November 6, 2016

Yep.

I read Auden’s last book, “Thank You, Fog”.  The second poem in there, Aubade (meaning a poem for the dawn or early morning) is a perfect representation of connectivity.  I referenced in my post on http://dayswithoutpirateattack.com/2016/03/18/ripples-out/

“I know that I am and will,
I am willing and knowing,
I will to be and to know,
facing in four directions,
outwards and inwards in Space,
observing and reflecting,
backwards and forwards through Time,
recalling and forecasting.”
– W.H. Auden, Aubade

Two new members have joined my writers’ group (Tuesdays With Story) recently and one is a very good poet, so we have upped our poetry quotient significantly .  More poetry makes me happy!  I found this quote while I was editing the group’s newsletter for this month.

That applies to other creative outlets as well, right?

If you cannot be an artist, be the art.

If you cannot be a dancer, be the dance.

If you cannot be a musician, be the music.

If you cannot be a quilter, be the quilt.

If you cannot be a chef, be the meal.

. . . I could go on. . .

less_travelled

*no apologies to Mr. Frost, just an additional perspective.

I’m typing a poem.  I write a line long-hand in the notebook I carry with me so I don’t forget it.

I just realized

I have loud hands.

They amplify my voice.

I came on to my blog site this morning and noticed a post on my feed.  You must read this!

1.

When I was a little girl, they held my hands down in tacky glue while I cried.

2.

I’m a lot bigger than them now. Walking down a hall to a meeting, my hand flies out to feel the texture on the wall as I pass by.

“Quiet hands,” I whisper.

My hand falls to my side.

3.

When I was six years old, people who were much bigger than me with loud echoing voices held my hands down in textures that hurt worse than my broken wrist while I cried and begged and pleaded and screamed.

4.

In a classroom of language-impaired kids, the most common phrase is a metaphor.

“Quiet hands!”

A student pushes at a piece of paper, flaps their hands, stacks their fingers against their palm, pokes at a pencil, rubs their palms through their hair. It’s silent, until:

“Quiet hands!”

Read the whole post here:  https://juststimming.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/quiet-hands/

It’s poetry.  It’s amazing.

Today I tripped across the Futility Closet created by Greg Ross, awesome editor and compendiator.  I worked with Greg years ago (Yikes!  15 years ago!!) at UNext.com (where we were a good decade ahead of the internet’s time).  It is so wonderful to see this blog and the books he’s published since then.

Just in time for April and Poetry Month, he has a podcast on a little-known poet’s skill.  Enjoy!

Podcast Episode 51: Poet Doppelgängers

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Goethe_1791.jpg
In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll look at the strange phenomenon of poet doppelgängers — at least five notable poets have been seen by witnesses when their physical bodies were elsewhere.

and you always know it when you see it.

Enjoy Connie Sun’s daily cartoon posts.  http://www.conniewonnie.com/

writing and healing

I tripped across this beautiful, well-constructed website http://writingandhealing.org/ that brings poetry into the self-awareness and healing process.  The Healing Poetry page provides great examples for trying moments.  I enjoyed the reminder of “The Peace of Wild Things.”  Since I’m lacking a woods, my version of this is to sit on the front porch steps in the dark of one in the morning.

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry