Thursday, October 19, 2006

Poem for Poetry Thursday

Happy Poetry Thursday!

Admittedly, I didn't read about the optional poetry assignment on reading poetry I tend to avoid until late, but I think it's a good one. Some of the poets I routinely avoid are Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, and W.H. Auden. (Maybe I'm avoiding poets with initials as first names.)

I've always wanted to understand their works; more important, I want to enjoy them. But I firmly believe you have to be ready to read certain writers before you can enjoy them. For instance, I look at T.S. Eliot much differently now than when I first started reading him more than 20 years ago. I think that's because I have much more life experience to help me understand his motivations and influences.

So in the spirit of broadening my horizons, I will pick one of these poets to read (probably the least dense of the three) and offer my humble thoughts on the experience.

As for today's poem, well ... I did write it just a few minutes ago. And now I'm off to start my morning routine. Can't wait to read everyone's offerings today.

Saying Yes

If you find yourself awake
and alone at 4:30 in the morning,
you wait. You wait until you hear
that first bump against the wall,
the shifting of sheets,
the coil and recoil of bed spings.
You wait for the first toy
to be kicked and some obnoxiously
loud children’s song to disturb the air,
and the shuffle of footed pajamas
on hardwood floor to follow.
You’ve waited for this moment
all night, maybe all your life,
when that ghostly half figure
enters your darkened room,
nothing visible but his outline.
Before your box of a voice
finds its first words of the day,
you wait until your son
tugs on your arm and says, Mommy?
All you have to do is say,


bb said...

You wrote that in just a few minutes? You must have channelled that from somewhere pure - you are totally in the poetry zone, January!

My favourite lines are:

You’ve waited for this moment
all night, maybe all your life,

pefect, just perfect :-)

ren.kat said...

mmm. and "all you have to do
is say yes"


R's Musings said...

Such a sweet poem, full of motherly love... I agree, you're in the flow! Wonderful.

madd said...

I always enjoy comming here to see what you have written, you never disappoint..always a slice of life served with love..thanks..m

jim said...

Ezra is my own problem, January. Partly the shared Idaho thing (and all of its ugliness, unfortunately), no doubt, but also all the fascination with his pro-fascists broadcasts (Charles Baxter has a wonderful story of the Old Ezra in his book Relative Strangers), mixed with the genuine admiration for his teaching and ideas about poetry.

Need I say that your poem today strikes me as antithetical to much of Pound? That's a good thing.

Nic Sebastian said...

Pound! I'll bet he's everyone's problem. We should have a Pound Reading Group and all read the same one piece and share experiences (if we survive them, heh).

wendy said...

A mother never sleeps..she rests. Always ready. Very very nice January.

Poet with a Day Job said...

This is a great poem. I esepcially love the quiet you created through the language and line breaks. I feel the silent darkness and anticipation in your words, regardless of meaning. I love it when poems work on many levels like that.

And, you wrote it this morning. woohoo!

I'm new to Poetry Thursday, thanks for sharing.

pepektheassassin said...

LOL! Good job!

twilightspider said...

Your imagery is so perfect, I felt like I was the one in bed with a watchful ear. One would never know that you just whipped this one up.

la vie en rose said...

so, so beautiful!

Deb R said...

Dang, Jan, I find it amazing that you just sat down and wrote that in a few minutes time. I really like it. You rock!

Looking forward to reading about your experiences slogging through one of your Problem Poets. :-)

jillypoet said...

Great as always! And written in the pre-mommy morning hours! Wow! You so well evoke the hush and "non-hush" of sleeping in a house with children, the holding of breath to see if stirring is waking or just plain moving. I saw my son in the doorway! "that ghostly half figure," the one I wait for all night. Love it!

January said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words, especially to those stopping by for the first time.

Jim and Nic, maybe we should start a Pound Support Group so we can get through his Cantos and his politics.

Ceebie said...

January, I too am amazed that you "wrote this in just a few minutes". I always enjoy visiting your blog and being inspired by your writing. T

chiefbiscuit said...

A lovely poem that seems to have arrived perfectly formed. Just like your son!

gkgirl said... love love it.
and live it.

Catherine said...

This is beautiful, a wonderful reminder to say "yes" more often. And your farewell poem to Lynn at Sprigs is wonderful too.
As for W H Auden, for a long time I assumed he was an easy poet to understand because the only work of his I knew was "Night Mail", which was actually an advertisement for the British Postal Service apparently, and was the sound track to a movie shown to us at school when I was about ten years old! More recently I've encountered his "Musee des Beaux Arts" which I also like and don't find too difficult. I'm not familiar with Ezra Pound though.


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