In Robert Bly’s Hometown

remember the sound of your voice

reading my poem to the class

here something happens

poetry is making something happen

don’t be content with just words

make them leap off the page

____________________________

dVerse prompt to write about or to a favorite poet. I visited Madison, Minnesota a few weeks ago and went to the little house where Robert Bly wrote and it contains much of his library.

In Robert Bly’s Hometown

On Carmel Point

To My Dear Robinson Jeffers,

When the fog rolls and the horn sounds

I will think of the stones you carried

up the hill on Carmel Point

to set a foundation for Tor House

You kept going higher and higher

until you met the hawk

the world expanding around you

your small window with a view of the Pacific

I want life and death to come as naturally

I want to thank you for placing stone

upon stone in such a way it formed

narrow pathway to the highest point

__________________________________________

Yes, my dear,

“Against the outcrop boulders of a

raised beach

We built our house when I and my

love were young.

Here long ago . . .

. . . all that we saw or heard

was beautiful.” Robinson Jeffers

___________________

NaPoWriMo prompt on letter to a favorite historical figure and response by that person. One of my favorite poets. I visited his house and Tor House in Carmel one day while road tripping. Original take on this experience written in 2016.

On Carmel Point

My Red Wheelbarrow

I wheeled my red wheelbarrow

filled with poppy and lupine

past three horses pasturing

past the wind-warped madronas

past the heron and the wren

________________

NaPoWriMo prompt on the poets who have had an impact on our poetry writing. These are images from three of my favorite poets—

Line 1. William Carlos Williams

Line 2-3. Robinson Jeffers

Line 4-5. Theodore Roethke

My Red Wheelbarrow

More

Small stack of books not yet read. Their titles draw me in.

Virgil, the poet who died of a fever; poet to emperors and Rome. 

His poetry of the land, Georgics. Kenneth Rexroth translations

of Japanese poetry, one hundred of them. The Grandview Hotel 

poets from Peoria, Illinois, write together about the weather, 

changing of seasons, bluffs and bridges. My friend hands me another 

for the stack. She knows my heart. “You can borrow this if you take 

really good care, no coffee stains.” It is the Peoria writers’ work in 

letterpress, fine paper, portfolioed, each piece a work of art.

I am afraid to open it. A delicate thread creates a closure on the front.

It is the opening. Are my hands clean enough? I ask myself.  

I imagine myself enmeshed in reading each line, those words 

embedded into the paper, an art of poetry. A drop of blood falls

from my nose and I am horrified. How can this happen? How 

can I tell my friend that a spot of blood is there. I could hide it, 

hope she never goes back to the page where the stain was spilled.

I could remove the blighted piece and hope she does not miss it.

My remorse that I could not write this, could not design this, could

not print this. My drop of blood the revealer of my lust and

inadequacy. I bleed for more than what I am.  

More

The Creation of a Poet

Sometimes I want to use small words
and make them important           Mary Oliver

listen to the everyday cadence

birds calling you’re a thief

you’re a thief don’t believe them

Robert Bly’s Raven Hiding in a Shoe

“Ravens at night hide in an old woman’s shoe

A four-year old speaks some ancient language

We have lived our own death a thousand times.”

look at the people going somewhere

that is a common factor

that and death from Kenneth Fearing’s Dirge

“And wow he died as wow he lived,

going whop to the office and blooie home to sleep and

biff got married and bam had children and oof got fired

zowie did he live and zowie did he die”

study other poets

you can find your own voice hearing the voice of others

Pablo Neruda XXVIII

“My poem happened

for you, for nobody,

for everyone.”

“Sucedio mi poema

para tu, para Nadine,

para todos.”

translate someone even if you do not know the language

you will learn as you go

Basho translated by Robert Hass

“A bee

staggers out

of the peony”

go out of the country and write in your native language

while surrounded by another language

it gives new perspective on your own words

helps you choose your words and disrupts

your cultural bias

go into a poem with all your senses

immerse yourself

Ishmael Reed

“this poem is the reader & the

reader this poem”

The Creation of a Poet

Remembering Lorca

 

I remember reading Lorca in the rain

“amethyst of yesterday and breeze of this moment,

I want to forget them!”

I remember sorrow in knowing of his death

“. . . waiting in the algae or in the chair, their night,

I want to forget them!”

I remember Lorca yet I want to forget


NaPoWriMo prompt on remembering

from The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca – Useless Song

Remembering Lorca

Dime Line

I went to the wordshop

so I could get a dime

I had to get a dime

so I could make a rhyme

After searching without stop

I found it on a line

I used it once I used it twice

I used it all the time

The scholars and the critics

said that was just a crime

Then E.E. Cummings came along

and couldn’t find the line

 


This is not about drugs

Dime Line

Fan Letter

 

April 3, 2016

To My Dear Robinson Jeffers,

 

When the fog rolls and the horn sounds

I will think of the stones you carried

up the hill on Carmel Point

to set a foundation for Tor House

You kept going higher and higher

until you met the hawk

the world expanding around you

your small window with a view of the Pacific

I want life and death to come as naturally

I want to thank you for placing stone

upon stone in such a way it formed

narrow pathway to the highest point

 

———————

NaPoWriMo prompt to write a fan letter.  Mine is to

thank Robinson Jeffers for building Tor House and

Hawk Tower back in the early years of the 20th century.

 

“Against the outcrop boulders of a

raised beach

We built our house when I and my

love were young.

Here long ago . . .

. . . all that we saw or heard

was beautiful.”                Robinson Jeffers

 

 

 

Fan Letter