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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So here's a contradiction of my longing to enjoy the ancient Roman adage, "Festina lente," or hurry slowly as I've mentioned earlier. Not that I'm altering one smidge my sense that hurrying slowly is a great way to be in the world that will hurry, no matter what, with or without us. It is our ability to keep our eyes and ears open in the rush of it that will slow life down enough for us to savor the moments given. Yes.

And I wonder whether Lente Festina is substantively different? hmmm

BUT, because if I've discovered anything in life it's that one adage calls for a counter-adage, I find I want to also speak for my darling Festina. Yes, I do adore her; she provides the fire in my life, a bit of the spirit of eros, to hew to a Valentine-appropriate theme. In fact, it is from the lines of a classic Valentine's poem that I find myself most encouraged to pursue Festina. While the beginning of Marvel's poem is such a finely crafted and constructed argument against the preservation of virginity, likely the best ever, such argument is now personally a moot point, but I do find the last stanza one that drives me onward, offered here as a reminder of the fire at our feet.

from "To His Coy Mistress"
by Andrew Marvel

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball,
And tear our pleasure with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

and as far as I'm concerned, if you're still alive, you've got enough "youthful hue" to qualify for Marvel's fiery exhortation: devour our time, fast, faster!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Almost . . .

. . .Valentine's Day and I'm trying to choose poems for the reading I'll be doing with Nils on lucky pre-valentine's Friday the 13th (see the sidebar). So much about love and then not enough. About love. And Valentine's just the goofiest holiday of all, and too often the biggest rip-off of the human spirit instead of its celebration. Speaking of, not the rip-off part but the h.s. part, I have to admit that my newest religion is the video below, the Brickies of Bangladesh. I watch it at least once a day. After seeing it, it's sorta hard to look at things the same way. And that's what the best poetry is about, I think.

So on Valentine's not-day we'll be reading some poems from all sorts of poets, and looking at the different layers of love, trying to get to the real labor of love, balancing one brick atop the next, pulling one's foot out of the way when one falls. . .finding another brick to take its place, to keep the balance. Hope you can come.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poetry 101


So, here's another poem to check out. It's the featured poem this week at Linebreak.

Oh! and just discovered if you click the speaker icon, someone is reading it! How cool is that?