Friday, April 9, 2010

"For we are the last of the loud"... Poetry Friday, Volume One!

No title

by Charles Bukowski

all theories
like clichés
shot to hell,
all these small faces
looking up
beautiful and believing;
I wish to weep
but sorrow is
I wish to believe
but belief is a
we have narrowed it down to
the butcherknife and the
wish us


"let it go -- the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise -- let it go it
was sworn to

let them go -- the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers -- you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go -- the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things -- let all go
so comes love"

- e.e. cummings


Blessing the boats

by Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

The Second Sermon on the Warpland

by Gwendolyn Brooks

For Walter Bradford


This is the urgency: Live!
and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.


Salve salvage in the spin.
Endorse the splendor splashes;
stylize the flawed utility;
prop a malign or failing light–
but know the whirlwind is our commonwealth.
Not the easy man, who rides above them all,
not the jumbo brigand,
not the pet bird of poets, that sweetest sonnet,
shall straddle the whirlwind.
Nevertheless, live.


All about are the cold places,
all about are the pushmen and jeopardy, theft–
all about are the stormers and scramblers but
what must our Season be, which starts from Fear?
Live and go out.
Define and
medicate the whirlwind.


The time
cracks into furious flower. Lifts its face
all unashamed. And sways in wicked grace.
Whose half-black hands assemble oranges
is tom-tom hearted
(goes in bearing oranges and boom).
And there are bells for orphans–
and red and shriek and sheen.
A garbageman is dignified
as any diplomat.
Big Bessie’s feet hurt like nobody’s business,
but she stands–bigly–under the unruly scrutiny, stands
in the wild weed.

In the wild weed
she is a citizen,
and is a moment of highest quality; admirable.

It is lonesome, yes. For we are the last of the loud.
Nevertheless, live.

Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the


The Master

by Donald Hall

Where the poet stops, the poem
begins. The poem asks only
that the poet get out of the way.

The poem empties itself
in order to fill itself up.

The poem is nearest the poet
when the poet laments
that it has vanished forever.

When the poet disappears
the poem becomes visible.

What may the poem choose,
best for the poet?
It will choose that poet
not choose for himself.


from "Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved"

by Gregory Orr

Weeping, weeping, weeping.
No wonder the oceans are full;
No wonder the seas are rising.

It's not the beloved's fault.
Dying is part of the story.
It's not your fault either:
Tears are also.

You can't read when you're
Crying. Sobbing, you won't
Hear the song that resurrects
The body of the beloved.

Why not rest awhile? If weeping
Is one of the world's tasks,
It doesn't lack adherents.
Someone will take your place,
Someone will weep for you.


And my two blogger poets that I am highlighting today:

Marion, over at Dragonfly's Poetry and Prolixity, because she writes beautiful poems of her own, shares the gorgeous poems of others, and occasionally leaves me comments calling me an enlightened being. :) Can you tell she's one of my favorites?

Another poet I highly recommend you check out: Akka over at Drunk Love Heart writes all of her own poetry (this one is one of my favorites) and then illustrates it too. It's amazing... and totally inspiring.

Happy National Poetry Month, guys! Have a wonderful weekend :)


Marion said...

Awwww, Phoenix, you're so sweet. I love every single poem you posted here. You post is a poem-feast, so yummy and filling. And "One Drunk Love" has such amazing poems! I'm so glad to have found her here at your place. Have a beautiful weekend, my pal. Love & Blessings!

Barbara said...

Had no idea this was poetry month. You certainly did a lovely post in its honor!
The poetry you chose was lovely. Especially e.e. true; and Donald Hall because I always imagined this is how a poet feels. The poem takes over. I think this is how composers feel too...perhaps all art?

I'll check the other sites now.

B. Nagel said...

I love the non-anthologized/crammed-down-your-throat-in-10th-grade/made-to-feel-ignorant-if-you-didn't-understand e.e.cummings. Especially this one.

However, blogger does not agree and thinks I am being unfair to 10th grade teachers. My word ver is 'crimper.' :(

g. fox said...

love Poetry Friday, what an institution. I was doing a poem of the week for a while, but I lapsed. Pathetic. Looking forward to next week. xo, g*

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

'define and medicate the whirlwind'...yes, pure poetry :)

Jmarls80 said...

Augh..right in the gut! These are so great! Thank you for sharing!

Robin said...

Some really good choices. I know I am going to have to come back and read them all again. Poetry speaks to me differently on different days.

If you get a chance, stop back by and leave me a note on the name of the book that you mentioned in your last post. I wasn't aware that there was one and now want it...

Lori ann said...

thank you for introducing some i had not heard before. poetry month is a great idea isn't it? wish i were more poetic...

Wine and Words said...

I'll be medicating the whirlwind tonight my friend...some vino and a damn fine band called ParTime. See you there?

Clarity said...

Poetry, my love.

Thank you.

Angie Muresan said...

Great selection, Phoenix. Like both Bukowski and e.e. cummings quite a lot.

Ida Nielsen said...

'let them go -- the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers -- you must let them go they
were born
to go'

Oh how I needed to read this today!!!

Thank you :-)

Purple Cow said...

What a great chose some good ones!

Gwen said...

I love them all but I think the Charles Bukowski one has to be my fave of your list. Thank you for sharing!! XOXO

krista said...

you had me at bukowski.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I LOVE the E.E.Cummings one.
It's so these poets, and people living years and years ago still know exactly what we're going through!

Anonymous said...

You have excellent taste. I really enjoyed these selections.

Kristy said...

Brooks and Bukowski...we definately went to college together T.

akka b. said...

I'm so damn slow ~ just caught on that you gave a nod to Drunk Love Heart. humbly i bow. ;-) xxx

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