Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poetry 30: The Grand Finale

I know that those of you who are still with me (both of you) stayed awake all night last night in anxious anticipation. What will Darlene post for her final Poetry Month post? Will it be something intimately meaningful to her? Or will she go for grandeur--perhaps the greatest poem ever written? Or (please, please!) will she post another of her own original works?

Well, the suspense is over. I decided to go with two this time--one that I love and that everyone knows, and another because it is on the subject of poetry and thus a fitting end to our month.

Here's a little ditty that blew my socks off when I read it for the first time in college, because, of course, it challenges our definition of poetry--and yet, when you read it, you say, "Ah, yes, of course it's poetry." And it's just so--sweet. So here is

This is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Loyal blog readers that you are, you probably remember my allusion to this poem years ago.

And here's another, just because it's delightful and about poetry.

On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High
by D. C. Berry (anthologized in Sound and Sense and lots of other places)

Before I opened my mouth
I noticed them sitting there
as orderly as frozen fish
in a package.

Slowly water began to fill the room
though I did not notice it
till it reached
my ears

and then I heard the sounds
of fish in an aquarium

and I knew that though I had
tried to drown them
with my words that they had only opened up
like gills for them
and let me in.

Together we swam around the room
like thirty tails whacking words
till the bell rang

a hole in the door

where we all leaked out

They went to another class
I suppose and I home

where Queen Elizabeth
my cat met me
and licked my fins
till they were hands again.

So now that we've finished our month I'm curious about you. Which of these have you liked? Have you learned anything new about poetry? Is anyone still out there? Anyone? Bueller?


Th. said...


Well. I liked both of today's.

And I have to say that I've been more aware of blackberry poems than usual and there sure are a lot of them! You could make a pretty substantial chapbook with nothing but excellent blackberry poems!

Anonymous said...

I somehow missed that it was a Month of Poetry and wondered how long it would last. :)

I've enjoyed all the poems and it's made me realize I don't have enough poetry in my life lately. It's even made me want to try writing some.

Since you chose a William Carlos Williams poem, you made me think of this post by my sister a couple of weeks ago (scroll down to the photos of the toy shopping cart.)

Jennifer B. said...

The William Carlos Williams one has been one of my favorites since college. I couldn't have even told you then why I liked it--I just did.

I'm sorry I've missed a few that you posted this month. I'd like to go back and read them all through.

Michelle said...

you know I'm out here! I love the Williams poem.

Maybe it's too common but I love the Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality so much that I painted on my son's wall about a decade ago. I used to read it while I nursed my babies and it brought me peace.

nurselynn said...

I thought this was perfect timing for your poetry month when I read it reprinted in Dear Abby yesterday (Friday). This poem always reminds me of you, Dar!
"The Reading Mother" by Strickland Gillilan
"You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be--
I had a mother who read to me."
Your boys are so blessed to have you!

Darlene said...

Thanks, Lynn. You can't know how much I really needed a pat on the back today.

And Michelle, how cool to be a child growing up with those words etched in your mind!