Tag Archives: Poems

I’m baaaack! and Maya Angelou

Hello everyone!  It has been quite a while since my last post.  Maintaining a house, a job, a pregnancy, and now a baby will do that to you, I guess.  Or, better stated, to me.  I am certain that there are plenty of people out there who could have juggled life and a blog all at once.  Nevertheless, in an effort to RE-kick start my writing, I’m getting back down to it and updating on a more regular basis.  Stoked?  Me too.

The world has lost a great voice since my last posting.  Maya Angelou was a blast of inspiration and will continue to touch the hearts, lives, and minds of people forever.  Physical death cannot snuff out the memory of her accomplishments or the legacy of her words.  Personally, I look forward to sharing her book, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, with my son when he is a little bit older.  I read this as an adult and feel ready to take on the world and maintain the hope that my son, growing up, will find strength within its lines, as well.

Life Doesn't Frighten Me

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

 

In closing, here is a video of Maya Angelou reciting her poem “Phenomenal Woman”.  The first time I heard this poem I was an awkward, confused teenage girl wondering what my place in the world would ever be.  The words took my breath away; she stopped my heart with the shock of the realization that being a woman is a beautiful blessing in this life.  I am strong.  I can rise above.  I can simply be myself.

Thank you, Maya Angelou, for all that you gave to this world.

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writer’s block by Charles Bukowski

Today’s poem is about something that plagues me more than I’d like…

 
writer’s block
Charles Bukowski

 
the typewriter sits silent, it’s as if you’ve
been betrayed, it’s as if a murder has
occurred.
yet words still run through your brain:
“the Spanish bird sings!”
what can
that mean?
at least it’s a ripple, even if unusable.

when will the keys
beat into the
paper
again?
it’s so very easy to die long before the
fact of it.

I look at the machine resting under its black
cover; an unpaid gas bill sleeps on top of
it.

there is a small refrigerator in the
room, it makes the only audible sound
here.

I open it and look inside:
it’s empty.

I sit back down in the chair and wait; then I
decide to fool the
typewriter.

I write this
now
with a ballpoint
pen
in a red
notebook;
I am sneaking up on a poem;
there will soon be something for that
frigging
typewriter
to do!

there is a French expression, “without
literature
life is hell.”

the glory and power of that!

now let the Spanish bird sing!

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Creepy child reciting a creepy poem – The Innocents (1961)

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Le Chat (The Cat) by Charles Baudelaire

Little Ophelia with a skull.

 

 

The Cat

Come, my fine cat, against my loving heart;
Sheathe your sharp claws, and settle.
And let my eyes into your pupils dart
Where agate sparks with metal.

Now while my fingertips caress at leisure
Your head and wiry curves,
And that my hand’s elated with the pleasure
Of your electric nerves,

I think about my woman — how her glances
Like yours, dear beast, deep-down
And cold, can cut and wound one as with lances;

Then, too, she has that vagrant
And subtle air of danger that makes fragrant
Her body, lithe and brown.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

 

And in French:

Le Chat

Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux;
Retiens les griffes de ta patte,
Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux,
Mêlés de métal et d’agate.

Lorsque mes doigts caressent à loisir
Ta tête et ton dos élastique,
Et que ma main s’enivre du plaisir
De palper ton corps électrique,

Je vois ma femme en esprit. Son regard,
Comme le tien, aimable bête
Profond et froid, coupe et fend comme un dard,

Et, des pieds jusques à la tête,
Un air subtil, un dangereux parfum
Nagent autour de son corps brun.

— Charles Baudelaire

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Yesterday by W.S. Merwin

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Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012)

My heart broke when I came across the story about Adrienne Rich’s passing.  She was an amazing women, artist, and poet.  In honor of her many accomplishments and contributions to the world of poetry, this weekend will be all about her.

Please enjoy the below videos of some of her poetry being read aloud:

What are some of your favorite Adrienne Rich poems?

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A Song by John Donne

GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be’st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find’st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

Read (in a perfect-for-poetry-voice) by Richard Burton:

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Alice Walker reads “You Confide in Me”

This is a lot of fun.  You have to love Alice Walker.

Enjoy!

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Louise Gluck reads Crossroads

Happy Sunday!

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Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

I won’t lie – I haven’t really read anything by Walt Whitman.  Or, if I have, it’s out of mind.  This needs to change. The Guardian created a list of The 10 best American Poems that I recently stumbled across.  Mr. Whitman tops the list.  So, naturally, I clicked on the link to read Song of Myself.  Wow.  That’s all that I have to say.  Oh, and that I’ll really need to read more of his work as soon as possible.

Song of Myself (sneak peek)

1
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

The poem is long.  So, please visit this link to the page at Princeton.edu to enjoy the entire piece.

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