Write It

While I was on my blogging hiatus, I actually started another blog. Contradictory, right? It was a blog that I wanted to devote solely to “real” writing (whatever that means). I wrote a total of 3 entries. I guess I’m better at “fake” writing. Ha. 🙂 One thing that did come out of that failed blog was rediscovering my love of poetry. Here’s a bit of what I wrote about poetry:

Poetry was my first love. I remember learning about poetry in fourth grade and going home and scribbling line after line of it, practically drunk with the thrill of finding a rhyme. I remember being ecstatic when my teacher read one of my poems aloud (I believe it began: “Fish, fish in the blue sea,/Please come out and play with me”), and I filled notebooks with poems, then stories and the beginnings of novels. I know that I am not a good poet, but I do love to shape words into lines and stanzas.

I’ve said before that poetry is like chocolate for the soul, and I really do think that. There are few things so satisfying as reading a well-crafted poem.

Though it’s not well-crafted, I thought I would share a poem I wrote this summer and have not edited since. Reader be warned: mediocrity ahead!

Together Separate

In a haze of pain and glory, you enter
the world, your cry filling the room
and my heart at once. I look on you,
flesh of my flesh, and marvel. You seem familiar
and yet a stranger.  My fingers fumble as I try to feed you,
your eyes closed and shut away. I do not know
how to do this.

Through the blur of midnight wakings,
unceasing cries, spit-upon articles of clothing,
I look down and realize I love you, though you
know nothing of love yet, only the basic rhythms of
life.  I gaze into your eyes, find myself lost in their trusting depths,
and we are both newly born.

Do you have a favorite poem? Share it with me!

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Poems Worth Reading

I’ve discovered a fun little meme called Thursday Thirteen, and for my inaugural list I could think of nothing better than to list thirteen poems I think everyone should read. I love each of them, for different reasons, but they all share one thing: when I read them, something in my soul awakens and the longing to write is renewed within me. I’ve posted links to each poem, and I invite you to follow each one and discover the joys of poetry, the splendor of the well-crafted line and the well-chosen word.

Thirteen Poems to Read

1. “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop
2. “
I carry your heart with me” by ee cummings
3. “
Sonnet XVII” by Pablo Neruda
4. “
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas
5. “
Sonnet XLIII (How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…)” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
6. “
Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson
7. “
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” by James Wright (O to write a last line with a punch like the one in this poem!)
8. “
Batter My Heart” by John Donne
9. “
Sonnet 116” by Shakespeare
10. “
Oatmeal” by Galway Kinnell
11. “
Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats
12. “
Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
13. “
What Work Is” by Philip Levine

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Malcolm
2. Gattina
3. Sandra
4. Nicole Austin
5. What Works For Us
6. Penguinsandladybugs
7. L^2
8. Splash
9. Damozel
10. Susan Helene Gottfried
11. The Gal Herself
12. J. Lynne
13. Thomma Lyn
14. Denise Patrick
15. Jennie
16. Pat J
17. Lori
18. Kristee
19. Nicholas
20. MissMeliss

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

To Take What We Love Inside

The first time I read this poem, I read it again. And again. I adore Li-Young Lee. His love of words pours from every line of his writing, and when I read his poems I am swept up in the fervor. Read his words, and then read them again.

From Blossoms
Li-Young Lee
published in Rose

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Li-Young Lee gave a reading during my last semester as an undergrad, and he also hosted a writers’ workshop afterwards. He read one of my poems during that workshop and offered his comments and even a bit of praise. It was one of the most surreal, proudest moments of my life. I need to read poetry more often. I used to read it almost every day, but I slowly got out of the habit. I used to write poems almost every day as well, but that was before grad school squelched any ounce of creativity I possessed. I want the poet in me to come back. I want the writer in me to come back. “O, to take what we love inside…”


I am glad to be alive
on nights like this
with the wind blowing through the open windows,
carrying the scent of freshly-cut grass
and honeysuckle blossoms,
the stars winking above,
the road whispering below,
my mind composing poems like this one
that I will forget before I can put
paper and pen together.

I am glad to be alive
on nights like this
when I sing with abandon,
my one free arm dangling
out the window, meeting the wind
pressing up against it,
like the very earth rising up to listen to my voice
join the voices of those before me,
preceding those after me,
a chorus of praise swallowed up by the night.