Apr 20, 2014 12:35pm
aaknopf:

Brooks Haxton’s Uproar: Antiphonies to Psalms connects poems to their roots in prayer. He explains in a brief introduction, “A few years back, when I was translating ancient Greek poems from the same period as the Hebrew Psalter, I began to feel that I wanted my own poems to flow from sources as vital to me as Aphrodite and Apollo were to the Greeks. I turned to the Psalms as poems from my childhood, from my parents’ and their parents’ childhoods, with this kind of charge. Psalms had fascinated me before I understood what such old-fashioned language meant, and later, when I learned the meanings of the words, the poems fascinated me and moved me that much more.” Each poem in Haxton’s book is a response to a psalm, by one who takes them less as doctrine than as outcries — as he concludes, “I cry back from whatever vantage I can find.”

Fists I Thought Were Made To Hold the ReinsHe delighteth not in the strength of the horse…He maketh peace…  — Psalm 147 Catfish, lacking scales, are beautiful in their repulsive way, but they will give you an infected wound if you’re not careful. The filets I rubbed with cayenne, chili, salt, and ginger, skillet hot and dry, then drowned with lemon. Even the kids, who don’t eat fish, left none. My wife and I stopped brooding, and my right hand opened with me staring into the empty palm, long having, if I ever knew, forgotten when and how the reins slipped free. I love equestrians, but I let go the reins, unlike my heroes, lacking their authority, and wishing now to lack my lack as well. An unimaginable horse is rippling at a gallop far away, unshod, with hoofbeats as impermanent as stars.

To share the poem-a-day experience with friends, pass along this link » 

I love this idea for generating poems.

aaknopf:

Brooks Haxton’s Uproar: Antiphonies to Psalms connects poems to their roots in prayer. He explains in a brief introduction, “A few years back, when I was translating ancient Greek poems from the same period as the Hebrew Psalter, I began to feel that I wanted my own poems to flow from sources as vital to me as Aphrodite and Apollo were to the Greeks. I turned to the Psalms as poems from my childhood, from my parents’ and their parents’ childhoods, with this kind of charge. Psalms had fascinated me before I understood what such old-fashioned language meant, and later, when I learned the meanings of the words, the poems fascinated me and moved me that much more.” Each poem in Haxton’s book is a response to a psalm, by one who takes them less as doctrine than as outcries — as he concludes, “I cry back from whatever vantage I can find.”

Fists I Thought Were Made To Hold the Reins

He delighteth not in the strength of the horse…He maketh peace…  Psalm 147

Catfish, lacking scales, are beautiful
in their repulsive way, but they will give you
an infected wound if you’re not careful.
The filets I rubbed with cayenne, chili, salt,
and ginger, skillet hot and dry, then drowned
with lemon. Even the kids, who don’t eat fish,
left none. My wife and I stopped brooding,
and my right hand opened with me staring
into the empty palm, long having, if I ever
knew, forgotten when and how the reins
slipped free. I love equestrians,
but I let go the reins, unlike my heroes,
lacking their authority, and wishing now
to lack my lack as well. An unimaginable horse
is rippling at a gallop far away, unshod,
with hoofbeats as impermanent as stars.

To share the poem-a-day experience with friends, pass along this link »

I love this idea for generating poems.

Mar 17, 2014 11:57am
The awareness of not having accomplished anything, and not expecting to accomplish anything in the future, is not so terrible because Tolstoy makes up for all of us. - Anton Chekhov (via blog-cdaleyoung)

Love this.

Mar 13, 2014 4:01pm
Mar 8, 2014 1:19pm

Failing and Flying


Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

—Jack Gilbert

Dec 16, 2013 5:20pm

Green Apples

In August we carried the old horsehair mattress
To the back porch
And slept with our children in a row.
The wind came up the mountain into the orchard
Telling me something;
Saying something urgent.
I was happy.
The green apples fell on the sloping roof
And rattled down.
The wind was shaking me all night long;
Shaking me in my sleep
Like a definition of love,
Saying, this is the moment,
Here, now.

Dec 7, 2013 9:54pm
Nov 12, 2013 12:06pm

"Nowadays because people are concerned with gorgeous appearances and their hearts admire ostentation, insipid poems, short-lived poems have appeared. Poetry has become a sunken log submerged unknown to others in the homes of lovers. Poems are not things to bring out in public places as openly as the opening blossoms of the pampas grass. Japanese poetry ought not to be thus."

—Ki no Tsurayuki, ca. 905

Nov 4, 2013 5:28pm
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. - Robert Frost
Oct 30, 2013 9:00pm
When I had no roof I made
audacity my roof. - "Samurai Song" by Robert Pinsky
Oct 30, 2013 9:59am
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