Thursday, December 2, 2010
The Literary Blog Hop December 2-5
The Literary Blog Hop is sponsored by Ingrid and Connie at The Blue Bookcase. Head on over there to read about the blog hop, get the button and link your blog to the hop. Each week bloggers answer a different question, and the conversation has been interesting: for me, this hop is not so much about gaining followers as it is about finding new blogs, checking in with old favorites, and having an exchange of ideas. This week's question is:
What is your favorite poem and why?
Impossible. Please don't ask me to choose one favorite poem--that is like having to choose a favorite child, or a favorite student. It can't be done without excessive pain; it can't be done at all.
That said, here is the poem I carry in my head, my notebook, and my pocket:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;--
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing in this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
This Wordsworth sonnet captures what I feel about the life of the mind and heart and spirit versus the life of commerce (getting and spending) and the whole business-like realm of life that sits on the surface of what is important and true like a deadly sugar icing, enticing but ultimately bad for you.
Also in my notebook: "Bright Star" by John Keats. And I love this one: "My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains/My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk"--Keats. In my brain: Sonnet 116. In my notebook--this one by Wendell Berry:
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Other poets who mean a great deal to me, in no particular order: Rilke, Adrienne Rich, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Dorianne Laux, Charles Bukowski, Eavan Boland.
I'm absolutely positive I have left out a poem or poet vital to my soul. Chalk it up to the anxiety elicited by making such a choice. What about you Gentle Readers? Do you have a favorite poem or poet? Do you carry a poem in your pocket, your wallet, your notebook, your brain?