Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quite good, quite good

Some days are poetry days. Lyric days.

...These are my knees
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical women.
The first time it happened
I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out
and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call
and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Dying is an art,
like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well...

Sylvia Plath, from Lady Lazarus

I love Sylvia Plath. I mean, really, "dying is an art; I do it exceptionally well": is there any way that you can really not recognize the genius? I read The Bell Jar, her autobiographical novel, and then followed it up with her biography. Her life was sad, not necessarily because of anything physical or tangible, but because of depression. Sometimes the turmoil of the mind is worse than any outer influence. Her life was tragic, but she left a legacy of fascinating poetry.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes! how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose.
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more to my meditations, than you might suppose.

Walt Whitman, from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Of course, poetry from a man that looks like a scraggly Santa Clause is always fun.

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far
But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride
The wood is tired and the wood is old
We'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
That's where I need to go.

Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, from The Wood Song

Of course it's better with music. But I'm always impressed with the Indigo Girls' lyrics; go Emily Saliers and Amy Ray!

Anyway, I'll spare you from poetry I've written; I have only written a few poems, and they are all pretty bad. I definitely have room for improvement on that! But that's what the Creative Writing MFA is all about--I really can't wait to start! I'm excited and scared and anxious, especially to be teaching a class. That's definitely an intimidating venture, but I think I'll love it once I get past the nerves. Less than two months to go!

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