Tag Archives: poems

wednesday wisdom: sweet spontaneous

sweet, spontaneous earth at matcha bar, brooklyn.

sweet, spontaneous earth at matcha bar, brooklyn.


O Sweet Spontaneous

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and

poked
thee
, has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty                  how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true

to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

thou answerest

them only with

spring)

e.e. cummings

{p.s. it’s National Poetry Month. we’re celebrating. xxS}

wednesday wisdom: re-examine

via soul-surfer.tumblr.com

via soul-surfer.tumblr.com

Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.
– Walt Whitman, preface to Leaves of Grass

{p.s. it’s National Poetry Month. we’re celebrating. xxS}

wednesday wisdom: jabberwocky

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April is National Poetry Month, and since we’re all about the words around here, each Wednesday Wisdom will be a celebration of poetry, the forgotten art. I have a very distinct association of “Jabberwocky” to my fifth grade class at Buckingham Elementary: I had to memorize the whole thing, and was also responsible for interpreting and illustrating a Jubjub bird. Made famous in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, this is my first introduction into glorious nonsense, and is forever etched into my brain.

Jabberwocky
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll, 1871

wednesday wisdom: poem in your pocket day

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April is National Poetry Month. Tomorrow (April 18) is National Poem In Your Pocket Day. Celebrating is easy: pick your favorite poem, put it in your pocket. Share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and fellow wordsmiths throughout the day. Tweet your #pocketpoem. Download a pocket poem  for you and your kidlets. I’m going with this one by Claude McKay, because it reminds me that us New Yorkers are a hodgepodge of displaced peoples from the world over, seeking familiarity, comfort, a good piece of fruit. Will you celebrate with me?

The Tropics of New York
Bananas ripe and green, and ginger root
Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Sat in the window, bringing memories
of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical skies
In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grow dim, and I could no more gaze;
A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways
I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer

wednesday wisdom: charles simic

charles simic.

charles simic.

April is National Poetry Month, and since we’re all about the words around here, each Wednesday Wisdom will be a celebration of poetry, the forgotten art. Our first poem is by Charles Simic, one of my favorite poets ever, a Serbian-American who writes shadowy, honest verses like “Dear Friedrich, the world’s still false, cruel and beautiful” and who wrote the poem below.

Against Winter

The truth is dark under your eyelids.
What are you going to do about it?
The birds are silent; there’s no one to ask.
All day long you’ll squint at the gray sky.
When the wind blows you’ll shiver like straw.

A meek little lamb you grew your wool
Till they came after you with huge shears.
Flies hovered over open mouth,
Then they, too, flew off like the leaves,
The bare branches reached after them in vain.

Winter coming. Like the last heroic soldier
Of a defeated army, you’ll stay at your post,
Head bared to the first snow flake.
Till a neighbor comes to yell at you,
You’re crazier than the weather, Charlie.

– Charles Simic