A Poetic Christmas Toast

Christmas ToastI rarely share personal poetry with my readers. I haven’t gotten comfortable with some of my thoughts. I have several poems I’ve written for friends that I may share with them, but only them. But this is one instance where I thought this was sweet and fit with the season. It’s for Boris, whom I hope does not read all my posts because then the surprise is gone…. But I sent this off in a card for him today. Mr. Grinch that he is, it’s not so much about the Christmas them, but more my feeling about him.

Kate

Winter Haikus

I was inspired recently by C.B. Wentworth‘s post on haikus, The Haiku Debate.  Her article was quite interesting and I urge you all to go take a look.  I liked how she talked about traditional form and non traditional.  The 5-7-5 rules and how Japanese haiku was never written in three lines, but one long line. I figured that out from reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice (a personal favorite book of mine).

 

I actually really like haiku, though I don’t read much of it.  It’s rather soothing, short and says a whole lot in a very little space. I’m very wordy, never get my point across quickly, and ramble. So this is like a breath of fresh air for me. So, haiku is this cute little package of poetry. You can jot it down on a small piece of paper and it doesn’t take up any room.

 

So I pulled out my Haikubes the other night and used them to come up with two wintery haikus. I just picked some keywords and added in what I thought fit for the time of year. Here is what I came up with

 

 

 

Winter promises

English: Flying geese over Marsh Farm Marsh Fa...

English: Flying geese over Marsh Farm Marsh Farm campsite http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1396185 has lots of fishing lakes to attract birds, these seem to live on the site full time apart from when they all take their evening flight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Grand icy traveling

 

Fire warms any heart

 

 

 

And

 

 

 

Flocks of lofty geese

 

Flying giant arrow vees

 

Wind over water

 

 

They might not be quite right, but I liked the thought.  And it’s practice. I feel I should probably read Basho’s book on haiku, but I’ve not gotten around to reading it yet. I only have so much time for poetry and I have a lot of poets I follow now.

 

But I want to thank C.B. for her post because it was the inspirational kick I needed.

 

What do you all think? And do you write haiku?

 

Kate

Lanterns

Emily Dickinson Lanterns  When I saw this quote from Emily Dickinson, I thought it had to be from a poem  and I wanted to find it. Sadly, it seems to be just a quote. I feel it could have been something marvelous.
I found this wonderful picture, and combined the quote with it, and I think it’s perfect.
It reminds me of Loreena McKennitt‘s song ‘The Mummers Dance,’ and sometimes I feel I need to go looking for myself. What a more romantic way than by lantern light.

Happy Sunday
Kate

Exploding Out of Me

Have you ever started reading something that just hit you with a force like a hurricane and

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

made you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance and hide in a corner, all in one moment? I’m finding that poetry, certain poetry, just hits me like that and I am slammed face first into this marvelous feeling that I want to shout out to the world, but keep quietly bottled up inside, a geyser that’s just hidden under the surface. I’d say what really started me on this journey of explosion was when I read Billy CollinsTuesday June 4, 1991.  This poem is so perfect in its artistry that you finish feeling amazed and flabbergasted and staring at the page like you just opened Ali Baba’s cave.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to a type of poetry that just sings to me.

I’ve been reading over and over, four more of Billy Collins’ books, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and I returned Aimless Love and Sailing Alone Around the Room. I keep reading them and I keep sighing with understanding and longing. Because the poems make me long for something. I want to desperately share these with someone. Read them outloud in the summer as we lie on the grass in dappled sunlight.

Along with Billy Collins, I have been reading a book of Erotic Poetry by the Everyman’s Pocket Poets.  And don’t think dirty poems. This deals with Eros and love and desire, hate, anguish and reverence for the body.

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

The poetry is marvelous and sensual and beautiful. It makes you stop and ponder and go, ‘Oh wow’. Or that’s what I do. I’m just stupefied and in awe when I finish one. You would think I’ve never read poetry. But it’s magical and amazing.

What got me started reading the erotic poetry was by reading Last Gods  by Galway Kinnell.  this is some seriously beautiful and sensual work. I suggest if you are interested in gorgeous poetry to try this one. It is magical and takes you to the heart of Eros. It makes you blush, but in a very good way. A private look at a man and woman and it’s beautiful.

This kind of poetry is much more modern than what I’ve grown up reading. Though, that being said, most of what is in the Erotic Poetry is pre 1900’s.  So, I suppose I’ve been reading the wrong things.  I’ve always been a fan of Emily Dickinson, though half the time I don’t know what she is saying. It’s the magic of it all that gets me.

Well the magic of these poets has me enthralled, craving more and wanting to scream it out to anyone who will listen.

Has anyone else read something that changed their life? Made them want to dance and sing and weep and hide? Has poetry changed your life in ways you never knew possible?

 

Signing off

Kate

Billy Collins’ The Country

I started off the afternoon with a little poem by Billy Collins entitled The Country.

Read or listen to it at The Writer’s Almanac HERE

Here is just a taste

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.

 

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off

Kate.

How Did I Not Know About The Writer’s Almanac?

English: Mr. Garrison Keillor

English: Mr. Garrison Keillor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you like poetry? Do you enjoy random bits of history about writers? Poets? Things in history?  Do you just adore listening to Garrison Keillor? Do you want a daily audio update about all these things?

Well, you’ve come to the right place to direct you t an even better place. I have discovered The Writer’s Almanac. And what is this, you ask me? Why it’s a marvelous little daily podcast hosted by the most marvelous and talented Garrison Keillor.  Every day Mr. Keillor reads the birthday of one or two famous authors/writers, a bit of history for the date, and lastly a poem. Done in his marvelous voice it can be soothing or just the thing to hear in the morning, taking no more than just five minutes, it’s about the time it takes to get fully dressed, or for you women out there, maybe get half your makeup on.  It’s charming and informative, and well come on. It’s Garrison Keillor and how can you go wrong.the writer's almanacSupported by The Poetry Foundation, it’s a marvelous little thing.

English: Billy Collins at D.G. Wills Books, La...

English: Billy Collins at D.G. Wills Books, La Jolla, San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How did I find out about this? Surprisingly enough, Wikipedia when was reading about Billy Collins, poet, who has become my favorite modern poet. Within the article about him, it was mentioned that he co-hosted The Writer’s Almanac for the summer of 2013. Well, I just had to find out about it and wow, I’m so excited.

So, I urge you to check it out. It’s quick and fun, and well, we could all use a smidge of literary in our daily lives.

Signing off

Kate

Hearts and Showers – Poetry

Logo-with-Heart-Shape-23She makes upside-down hearts on the glass shower walls

Her rounded buttocks the stamp, the fogged walls her pages

She balances like a stork or crane, No, that’s not right

A gazelle. She is a gazelle graceful as she holds one sleek

leg in the air and with a swipe of a razor, cuts the hair with

a practiced hand. How does she do that?

Fog and mist shroud her in silhouette as she leans back, her topknot of hair

a cushion. A pin cushion she has jabbed two lacquered chopstick in

The mist is heaven scented. Jasmine and spice, or lavender and vanilla

I want to eat the air around her. 

I watch her in reverse, the mirror a backwards world of wonder.

I’m forever nicking my chin as I watch her instead of paying

attention to the razor in my hand and lather on my face.

She is a show, a fascination of movement from one thing to the

Next

And don’t even get me started on how she dries the diamond drops from

her svelte body. I’d be here all day drooling……

 

 

If you, as a woman lean just right against a foggy wall in a shower, you can leave an upside-down heart…. Just some random information that you all needed to know.

Enjoy the open verse.

Signing off

~Kate

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Word of the Day — Whisper

WhisperOkay, so most of you are probably wondering why we are going with such a basic word.  Whisper.  The whisper of a kitten’s whiskers.  A whispering sigh.  “Why do you whisper green grass”, The Ink Spots.  A word that can hold so much in it’s meaning, yet it’s such a quiet word. It hardly says or does anything, but it means so very much.

whisper     verb \ˈhwis-pər, ˈwis-\

: to speak very softly or quietly

: to produce a quiet sound

OR

noun

: a very soft and quiet way of speaking

: a soft and quiet sound

: a very small amount of something

I think I use verb and noun equally.  I use this word all the time in poetry, especially if there is soft movement or a breeze.  It’s a delicate word that floats off your tongue and tastes like ice crystals.  Yes! Words have taste.

Want to see how much I use whisper?  Go to the main homepage of Kate’s Bookshelf and in the search box at the top, type in ‘whisper’.  You will see how much I love using that word.

Signing off

~Kate

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Wordless Wednesday – Stopping By The Woods

This is the light on mysterious clouds last week. It looked like a fire and it moved across the sky, and it reached all the way from horizon to horizon.

This is the light on mysterious clouds last week. It looked like a fire and it moved across the sky, and it reached all the way from horizon to horizon.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

 

Signing off

~Kate