Wednesday, November 28, 2012
It's not just bodies that need exercise. Minds can use a good stretch. A poem can do that for you
A friend has just reminded me that it's William Blake's birthday today. William was the visionary, a Londoner who saw visions of God and painted them. He also wrote some pretty fab poetry such as Tyger tyger burning bright / in the forests of the night etc.
A sparkfriend sent me a poem the other day which was nice, because I'm fond of a good stanza. I read it a lot, esp in the bath. I haven't seen any for a while, but the Poetry Society used to do Poems on the Underground and if you were lucky and it was a short one you could memorise it between Shepherd's Bush and Holborn. Or wherever.
A good poem broadens the mind, because the words are the best ones in an order you may not have seen them in before. They give your brain a rare old workout and a new path to wander along, different from the mundane.
My actual favourite poem? It's the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald. Very famous, not fashionable, but fabulous. It's mainly about the joys of wine and song and lying about and enjoying life. Here's just one verse - my favourite:
One moment, in annihilation's waste
One moment, of the well of life to taste
The stars are setting, and the caravan
Starts for the dawn of nothing - o make haste!
And to me, that's it. Take life with both hands, and take it now.
You only get one chance.
PS: please share link to your favourite poem.