Two Poem Friday
Wow. I missed the entire month of April, which is National Poetry Month. I have the resolve of a flea.
So here are two poems. I heard both on NPR during April although they apply to two differently-themed collections. The first is from an new anthology on loss and grief edited by Kevin Young entitled The Art of Losing. The title gets its name from Elizabeth Bishop's much anthologized poem (which consequently can be found somewhere on this blog) by the same name.
Unfortunately, I don't yet have the book so what is written here is not in the form the author intends. This may take away from the experience of reading it and, for that, I apologize, but I felt like it was so strong that it will resonate with people regardless.
Written on the Due Date of a Son Never Born
by David Wojahn
Echinacea, bee balm, aster, trumpet vine. I watch your mother bend to prune, water sluicing silver from the hose. Another morning you will never see. Summer solstice, dragonflies flare, the un-petaled rose. Six a.m., and already she's breaking down, hose flung to the sidewalk where it snakes and pulses in a steady, keening glitter, both hands to her face. That much I can give you of these hours. That much only, fists and blossom forged by salt, trellising your wounded helixes against our days. Tell us how to live for we are shades, facing, caged, the chastening sun. Our eyes are scorched and lidless. We cannot bear your light.
This next poem is a bit more redemptive. It is an Emily Dickinson poem that is now anthologized in Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence and Everything Else, edited by Elise Paschen.
Hope Is the Thing With Feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.