Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Pulley - George Herbert
WHEN God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by—
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made a way,
Then beauty flow’d, then wisdom, honour, pleasure;
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.
Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
This is one of those poems that when I first read it, I wondered what on earth e e cummings was thinking/smoking/doing. It made no sense. But I had an amazing teacher who walked me through. If you take the time to read this, pretend anyone is the name of a man in the town and noone is the name of a woman - it should help a little. :)
anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
If you are interested, you can read a pretty good analysis of this poem here.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
This is one of the first poems I give my students each year when we study poetry. It is simple to understand, but has an incredibly powerful message.
When they finish reading it, I always ask - how many children died or lost their childhood?
Sunday, April 4, 2010
If you will remember, in there, he is having problems in his marriage to his ridiculous wife who made (makes) women all over the world have a complex because we can NEVER look that way. I mean, really, she keeps that hair perfectly in place all the time. The products that are available to animated women is just simply unfair.
What? Isn't that what you were thinking too? I thought so.
Anyway, Roger gets the idea to write his wife, Jessica, a poem to tell her how much he loves her. Anyone remember how it starts?
"How do I love thee, let me count the ways....one...two...three...four....."
That was my first exposure to this poem. It actually took me a long time to want to read this poem because I thought it was just a cheesy love poem that some love sick, pathetic, hopeless romantic wrote about some boy she was crushing on and then killed herself when he married someone else. But that couldn't be further from the truth. The poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, knew a great deal about love, sacrificed her relationship with her father in order to marry the man she corresponded with over almost two years. And this girl knew how to use words.
So that brings us to her words. I love this poem. I'm in awe at the concept in the second and third lines. This kind of love goes beyond the marriage vows that are common among other faiths. But the best part is her recognition that her ability to love now is minimal compared to how she will be able to love after death. Enjoy!
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Friday, April 2, 2010
What some people may or may not know is I really love poetry as well. Really, really love it. I adore the feeling of taking a piece of poetry and work through it and really understand it. I love going back to it again and again, looking at the imagery, appreciating the line breaks, the amazing choice of words - you get the picture.
That brings us to April. You may or may not know that this is National Poetry Month. I usually acknowledge that it is a cool thing and then move on my merry little way. But I really want to get back to poetry, experiencing that thrill of reading an amazing poem. Maybe, if I'm feeling extraordinarily brave, I'll share some I've written. And, sometime this month, I'll be writing a lovely piece of exceptionally cheesy poetry for my sister through marriage (I hate that in law part) because of her accomplishments in the MMM.
What does this have to do with you? Well, the poems that I have really grown to love over the years will be featured here. I figure you are more likely to read a poem if it is posted on a blog than if I were to just tell you to go here (but if you are interested, they are emailing a poem a day during April). And, if you are like me, sometimes it is nice to have direction if you are experiencing something new instead of being overwhelmed by the thousands of something someone loves.
How often will this happen? Who knows. Chances are pretty decent that during the week of April 19, pretty often because I have to administer end of level tests, stay in the room for 87 minutes at a time but do pretty much nothing. And that is the week I'm set to defend my thesis so I'll need some escapism (Why am I nervous? No clue. I did a good job. It'll be fine...it'll be fine...it'll be fine...)
Tied in with this, I have been wanting for the last few years to go back and really spend some time with Mr. Eliot (T. S. that is - notice the initials?) So I'm going to work through The Wasteland off and on through this month. It's a doozy, and I studied it once before, but that was before I had kids and forgot where part of my brain went. (Tiana, if you are reading this I may be coming to you to see if you have more of your brain left that I do...:)
If you have a favorite poem, please let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the mix. Or feature it on your blog. Either way, it should be some nerdy poetic fun.