Saturday, October 23, 2010
I haven't been blogging much recently. I've been busy with work and other things, staying the course and generally enjoying life. But I wanted to share the following bit of poetry before October is over. It's from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot. This has been a favorite poem of mine since I was in my teens. I could write pages about this poem, and some day I might, but today I'm just going to share one little image from it. The poem is available on the internet if you want to read it for yourself.
"The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. "
From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot
I hope you all are enjoying those "soft October nights".
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I felt really good in my yoga class tonight. My mind felt still for a change, and I didn't think about work even once.
Then on the way home, I saw the sun set - just ribbons of color between the trees and under the clouds - and decided to share the following Emily Dickinson poem.
Iíll tell you how the sun rose,--
A ribbon at a time
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
The I said softly to myself,
ďThat must have been the sun!Ē
But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while
Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The moon was full last night and it made me think of a poem by Billy Collins.
I love this poem because it reminds me to view the universe with the delight of a small child.
The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.
Itís as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the babyís face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earthís bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.
And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.
And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.
And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.
Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. He is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and edits a poetry site for the Library of Congress. You can find it at
The website is designed to introduce high school students to poetry. Iíve found a lot of good poems at Poetry 180.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
My father always said God gave us work to keep us out of trouble. I think he was right.
All of us on Spark People work.
Some of us herd cows.
Some of us raise horses.
Some of us are librarians, some teachers.
Some of us are medical providers.
Some of us are website designers.
Some of us are tax collectors.
Some of us work taking care of small children, or elderly parents.
Some of us mow lawns or plant flowers.
Most of us clean house, do laundry and cook meals.
Itís all work, and something to celebrate. So letís all celebrate work this Labor Day, and hope it keeps us out of trouble.
By Katha Pollitt
Adam was happy -- now he had someone to blame
for everything: shipwrecks, Troy,
the gray face in the mirror.
Eve was happy -- now he would always need her.
She walked on boldly, swaying her beautiful hips.
The serpent admired his emerald coat,
the Angel burst into flames
(he'd never approved of them, and he was right).
Even God was secretly pleased: Let
The dog had no regrets, trotting by Adam's side
self-importantly, glad to be rid
of the lion, the toad, the basilisk, the white-footed mouse,
who were also happy and forgot their names immediately.
Only the Tree of Knowledge stood forlorn,
its small hard bitter crab apples
glinting high up, in a twilight of black leaves.
How pleasant it had been, how unexpected
to have been, however briefly,
the center of attention.
Katha Pollitt (born October 14, 1949) is an American feminist poet, essayist and critic.
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