Apr. 13th, 2009

Poetry Month - How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual

I managed to complete a draft lit review in about four hours. Finding sources was rough, let me tell you. I think it's pretty okay. Functional, not pretty, but okay.

I'm currently sold on Dreamwidth and I'm going to get me an account there when the open beta hits.. sooner if I can score me a code. I like the features and the plans for it and the outright transparency.. I can tell that even if I don't agree with a decision made by the staff, it will at least have a decent reason why. Considering the business manager wrote "the book" on why advertising on social networking sites doesn't work, I think it'll stick by the promise to be ad-free. It's like LJ before the corporate sellout and with people intent in actually seeing it through.

I'll have to make me a big migration post thing for later.

I'm not sure if I'm going to transfer old stuff or not. I might leave the stuff I've left online from the LJ days and the newer stuff remain at IJ and just begin fresher. I might eventually repost some old material, but I think I'd like to do it in my own time rather than just batch-port everything, even though Dreamwidth does have a functioning internal batch-port utility for LJ-based journals.

I've had some kind of online journal thing since I turned 18, and I've been on the LJ-types since 20. I'm 25 now.. I think I'm probably about due to start over with journaling a bit. (Though sometimes I think about going waaaaaaaay back to the journals I kept when I was a melodramatic 18 year old and laughing my ass off at how stupid I was back then.)

I don't plan on a seed account, though. It's priced at what 4 years of paid-premium would cost, and if I like the place as much as I think I will I'll probably be there for at least four years, but eh. Smaller chunks. Plus, the duo in charge actually explained out the costs and how the pricing works to subsidize the site, so I'm not bitter about doing the reccuring payments thing. (they're going to revamp memories! And they're going to let you do scheduled posts like Wordpress and them do! ZOMG!)

Anyway, here's an update in April so here's a poem. I gotta add this to the list of stuff to subject my teenagers to.

How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual           
by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust. 

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don't even notice,
close this manual.

Congratulations.
You can now read poetry.

Apr. 8th, 2009

Poetry Month - The Miracle Workers

I'm stealing from [info]sams_cafe again. Shhhh don't tell.

BTW, click the link in the title for the megaupload of the audio file. I try to find an excuse to play it for my teenagers towards the end of the year, since they get to teach each other for a change that last week or two. It's a longish poem, so this time it's behind a cut.

The Miracle Workers
by Taylor Mali

Sunday nights I lie awake— )

Apr. 6th, 2009

Poetry Month -

Spring is gonna kill me. I have terrible ADD right now and I'm all sleep depped from the cat being nuts. I think redecorating the apartment is making the poor thing nervous, but he doesn't have to keep trying to wake me up at four AM!

So, a poem for the cat.

The Kitten and The Falling Leaves
by William Wordsworth

See the kitten on the wall, sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves—one—two—and three, from the lofty elder-tree!
Through the calm and frosty air, of this morning bright and fair . . .
—But the kitten, how she starts; Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!

First at one, and then its fellow, just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now—now one—now they stop and there are none;
What intenseness of desire, in her upward eye of fire!

With a tiger-leap half way, now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then, has it in her power again:
Now she works with three or four, like an Indian Conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art, far beyond in joy of heart.

Apr. 5th, 2009

Poetry Month - Fog

Fog
by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Apr. 2nd, 2009

Poetry Month - Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I've always loved Shel Silverstein's poetry. Even when I didn't like poetry in general much I always liked him, and this is one of my favorites of his.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find my tape measure. It has something to do with Sweden. :D

Apr. 1st, 2009

April is National Poetry Month - American Poetry

Since April is poetry month and I am a lit geek, I'm stealing a meme from [info]sams_cafe and posting poetry. Probably not every day just because my life is generally insane, but when I get the chance.

I found this one tucked away in a poetry textbook from college, and ever since I re-discovered it I've been looking for an excuse to post it.

American Poetry
by Louis Simpson

Whatever it is, it must have
A stomach that can digest
Rubber, coal, uranium, moons, poems.

Like the shark, it contains a shoe.
It must swim for miles through the desert
Uttering cries that are almost human.