Monday, June 30, 2008

El Cuadro

I have received recent requests to post pictures... But I have no idea what to post as my original idea was to keep my identity somewhat anonymous. So much for that. My family is my most faithful viewers and I love them dearly for it! So, faces being out, I will post some cool shots of Washington DC area through the eyes of my family. This is somehow related to poetry, like poetry of the eye or something cheesy like that. Check out the previous post for some dearly loved faces if that's what you desire. This picture thing is mildly exciting and I just might start sticking art with poetry once in a random while.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Grow Old Along With Me

In behalf of my parent's 24th wedding anniversary...

Grow Old Along With Me
Robert Browning

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Music vs. Poetry

Two things I love: music and poetry. But then again, you probably could have guessed that. However, I find it's hard to read poetry while listening to music. Doing both fails to give either task the attention it deserves. It's like trying to read two poems at once. Would Mozart be conducive to a poetic mood? I have never been one to listen to classical music though perhaps now is as good of a time as any.

Irrational Fears

Would You Know If You Were Crazy?
Valerie Owens

Late afternoon sunshine spills in
through familiar windows.
I am alone in the house.
Disquieted by footsteps from the upstairs,
I check
I check again
And then, once more.
I am still alone in the house.
I reason with myself
old houses have creaks
and groans of their own.
Calm down.
You are going crazy,
I tell myself.
and still afraid
of things that go bump in the night
in this case
late afternoon
I'm talking to myself.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A four foot box...

Last year, I kidnapped a literature book from my English classroom. I devoured the poetry section and kept the book hostage the entire year. Some poems I never did understand why they were of "literary merit." Others, like this one, I fell in love with without quite knowing why. There is a very distinct feel to "Mid-Term Break." I find emotion translates so poorly into words and when one can give the proper words to emotion, that to me is poetry. To me, "Mid-term Break" displays the disconnected clarity one views a tragic situation before the reality has really set in.

Mid-Term Break
Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble,"
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Love is...

Sorry to have been neglectful of my humble blog. I have been traveling. I have seen the world and come back a changed person. Okay, so maybe not the whole world, and I'm still me. But, my mind has been flying a mile a minute lately. I've been musing over deep thoughts, too deep perhaps. I feel like I'm perched on the edge, just waiting, waiting for change. A few nights ago, I watched Meet Joe Black for the first time. It fit my mood most excellently. I LOVED it. So, for tonight I'll post a quote from the movie, though I do have poems I'd like to post, both ones written and read. And, watch the movie. So many quotes I'd just love to post.

Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.
~ Meet Joe Black

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave

Today I post George Herbert's poem, "Virtue." The poem was written in 1633. I'm posting it in the original English, but if that bothers you, Google another version. What strikes me the most is how, centuries after it is written, I can find so much to relate to it. My favorite stanza is the second, which, pulled aside from the rest of the poem, has had various meanings for me throughout the year. The "sweet rose" has to me been dream colleges I know I'll never be able to attend, flings doomed from the get go, and ambitions too lofty to ever accomplish. I think that is part of what makes poetry, poetry. No matter how specific or personal the topic, others can relate to it on a hundred different levels. Each stanza in turn has come to fit into wherever in my life I may be. "Sweet spring" is to me those perfect days when all is right with the world, the first stages of love, and beauty at it's finest. All things must come to an end, yet above it rises human virtue. Beautiful!

¶ Vertue.

George Herbert

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridall of the earth and skie:
The dew shall weep thy fall to night;
For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue angrie and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in its grave
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My musick shows ye have your closes,1
And all must die.
Onely a sweet and vertuous soul,
Like season’d timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mother Theresa

This poem is what I suppose could be called my life motto. It has been posted in my locker, on my binder, in my car, in my room, or somewhere, for years. I think it's beautiful. A Dr. Kent M. Keith has the copyright on it, but I like Mother Theresa's version much better.

Do It Anyway
Mother Theresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

And a few more quotes by Mother Theresa...
"I know God wouldn't let anything happen I couldn't handle. I wish God didn't trust me so much."

"God is never late, but rarely early."

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Recently Read Books

Inspired by a blog of my sister's, I am posting reviews of books I've read within the past two months or so. Summer leaves a blessed amount of time for reading and I will post more reviews in the next couple months.

Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
I love this book. I love the emotion that comes through the pages and how human the characters are. Never have I pulled away from a book more grieved that the characters weren't real than this one, particularly Owen. Also, the book called me to reexamine honesty in my own life, which in the matter of just a week, my newfound blunt honesty managed to get me into a pickle... Dang honesty.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Hilarious novel. I had read it once before, but this time around I caught just how witty and satirical Austen is. This novel is the original chick flick. I wish I had the wit of Elizabeth. And, I am in love with Mr. Darcy.
Someone Like You, Sarah Dessen
The first Dessen novel I wasn't in love with. The story is about two best friends, boyfriends, high school, family, etc... The twist in the plot is that one friend is carrying the baby of her boyfriend who was killed the summer before. I think the book undermines a little the difficulty a teenager would have with the situation. The book just didn't seem to flow well for me. It's fun popcorn reading and I enjoyed it, but it didn't match up to previously read Dessen Novels.
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
It seems everyone is reading this book so I decided to give it a go. Wow. This is one powerful novel, challenging themes of regret, revenge, friendship, nationalism, and the sense of right and wrong. I enjoyed the novel, but it is a very heavy read. The novel is a bit graphic, though not unnecessarily so. There is a feel of brutal honesty about it. This book deserves all the attention it's been getting.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
I'm a fan of Angelou's poetry, so her autobiography has been on my list for some time. I just started so I don't have much to say on it, but I can't wait to read it.
Way to Be! Gordon B. Hinckley
This book details "nine ways to be happy and make something of your life." The book is simply and beautifully written and made me yearn for improvement in my life. I recommend it to people of all ages. If I get a minute, I'll post some quotes from the book as well. Loved it.