"...poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives."
The Writer Richard Wilber 1976 In her room at the prow of the house Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden, My daughter is writing a story. I pause in the stairwell, hearing From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale. Young as she is, the stuff Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy: I wish her a lucky passage. But now it is she who pauses, As if to reject my thought and its easy figure. A stillness greatens, in which The whole house seems to be thinking, And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor Of strokes, and again is silent. I remember the dazed starling Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago; How we stole in, lifted a sash And retreated, not to affright it; And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door, We watched the sleek, wild, dark And iridescent creature Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove To the hard floor, or the desk-top, And wait then, humped and bloody, For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits Rose when, suddenly sure, It lifted off from a chair-back, Beating a smooth course for the right window And clearing the sill of the world. It is always a matter, my darling, Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish What I wished you before, but harder.
I had other plans for April, some idea of what this month might be about for me and my family. What I'm finding is that pushing that plan is tragically, comically painful. On the other hand, what is showing up without any effort at all, is quite lovely. April, National Poetry Month. I'd be hard pressed to conjure up something, from inside my own head, that I'd enjoy celebrating more than a month full of poetry.
So welcome to April on my blog. A month of Monday poems. Starting with the one I found hanging from the tree at the end of my block. (I know, it's hard to believe, but I live on a block where poetry grows on trees. You should see it for yourself sometime).
Is it a coincidence that the poem I chose, at random, was written by a poet who was born in North Carolina, who was raised in California, who went to school in the Bay Area, and worked in New York City? It might have been a celebration, so strong the presence....It doesn't come fresher picked than this....