Posts Tagged With: poetry
It’s Gratituesday! Today I am thankful for the power of words. That may sound silly until you think about words in varying contexts.
For instance, the power of words spoken in a prayer. I’m not thinking about rote prayers, repeated utterances we make with little thought. The words I’m thinking about pour out of a place deeper than a person’s mouth. Words birthed in loss and heartache and heaviness. Words searching for a foothold. Words struggling for sense in a senseless situation. Those words carry power and heft and potential healing.
Sometimes the mere act of placing words into the heavens is all it takes to see things clearer, to feel enabled to keep going forward. Sometimes a need requires action words added to the spoken ones. Sometimes answers arrive in unexpected packages. Sometimes answers seem elusive. But the power of the words remains unchanged.
Power rides on the words we speak or withhold. Expressions of love carry a potent, almost magical strength that binds and seals. Failure to let words work such charms can leave a vast emptiness that a lifetime may never fill.
Words accompanied by music make up life’s most power-filled elixirs. Nothing else prompts action, conveys emotion, shares thoughts as well as music with words. Better than a prescription, well-chosen words combined with a perfect tune can make a gray day brighten. Carefully placed words in a melody that touches the heartstrings can open doors long shut with hinges rusted over.
I haven’t even touched on the incomparable time-traveling properties of words, or the artistic nuances available in poetry and prose. And laughter? What elicits a laugh easier than a few just-so words? Words offer condolence. Words may lift an aching heart. Words connect, intertwine, link and hold fast.
Such powers that words possess will lift and heal and hold me today. And everyday.
I often say
the “if only”
would make me
what I’m not
that I am
Here’s another selection culled from my personal book of poetry. Look here to see a previous entry.
The editor in me wants to change it, correct bits, rewrite or hide it. The blogger in me thinks this is simply who I was when I wrote it and it shouldn’t be changed. I’ll let you decide.
So, here it is, a poem about a sunset. It was written a long, long time ago, another lifetime ago. I can still remember the sunset, feel the cool air, feel the me I was.
Wish I’d taken a photo. Maybe this poem serves as a replacement for a photograph. A snapshot of my much younger self, daring, confident, certain of my view of the world and ready to share it.
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
—Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999)
Here’s a bit more of Shel Silverstein if you’re in the mood for something delightful, delicious and zany.
- Writer Waiting, Poem and Drawing by Shel Silverstein (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
- Invitation to Poetry, Poem by Shel Silverstein (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
- the lion’s cage. (sweettearevolutions.wordpress.com)
- The Wisdom of Shel Silverstein (theinplace.wordpress.com)
I once fancied myself a poet of sorts. I let go of that idea for a long time. Then, I recently came across a book of collected poems by my younger self. Each poem was typed, then cut out and carefully pasted into a blank book. The gold lettering, hand-pressed to the outside cover and spine, still looks pretty good. It’s the most professional look I could manage given the technology of the time.
Now I could key in an address, get out my credit card and order up a professionally printed, bound, self-authored, illustrated book. Maybe someday.
There’s an honest quality to the typewritten page. The corrected type speaks volumes. The indentations that punctuation make into the paper give the poem a tangible finality.
The temptation to edit and polish the poem before sharing it was strong. But, I like the unjaded, unedited perspective of youth. To quell the editor in me I simply photographed the poem from the page in my book to share right here.
I’m not sure I have it in me anymore to write poetry. It’s a stark, open-bellied, sense of exposure to write a poem. There isn’t any excess verbiage to hide behind, no explanatory prefacing. It’s like a literary photograph. The writer must say, “This is my perspective, this is what I saw, nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it.”
When You are Old by William Butler Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
One of Yeats’ lesser known poems. I especially like the perspective from a life well lived.
I find that poetry is best enjoyed when read aloud. The cadence and the roll of the words across your tongue add a dimension of beauty and depth. Try it. Then read it out loud a second time a bit slower and you’ll find it warming you from within.
If you’re really brave, read it out loud to someone you love, a son, a daughter, a spouse, a parent, yourself.
I think everyone should have a poem or two about love tucked away in their memory. Silly, poignant, freeing, flowing, sad, gleeful, tender. Even a limerick will do if it’s one that can bring a laugh to your day or a smile to your lips.
If you have a favorite poem about love I’d be delighted if you’d share it with me.
Peel back the layers.
A crust of clothing disguises.
A mantle of skin, muscle, and bone
Houses and protects.
A core of Spirit,
The Life-giving center,
This post was written as a Trifecta challenge response. Please check out their site and see what great stuff they’re generating from writers.