Poetry 2011 Three : Can You Tell The Theme ?

Continuing my series of posts on Poetry for this year: this is the third in the series.
If you want to read Poetry 2011 One the link is here  and for Poetry Two 2011 link is here

Although I didn't start out with a particular theme in mind when I chose these poems what I ended up with  after putting them together surprised me because there was a theme. So it seems the unconscious does move us in directions we are often unaware of. 
In the Ignatian way of the Examen it is only when we stop "mending our nets" and examine or become aware and attend to what we see and have seen in our day that we can make some sense .
Similarly, when we take the time to stop and really listen to the sounds we have heard in the day we can find the unexpected in the quotidian. 
So too, with God and prayer. 

So what is the theme ? There may well  be more than one.
Well, I'll leave this an open question on slow burn ( they say they are the best type !)... 
so you tell me yours and I'll tell you mine and see what we come up with ...............................

Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

 

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Shoulders
By Naomi Shihab Nye
 
 
A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.
We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.


Missing the Boat
by Naomi Shihab Nye


It is not so much that the boat passed and you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopping directly outside your bedroom window,
The captain blowing the signal horn, the band playing a rousing march.
The boat shouted, waving bright flags, its silver hull blinding in the  sunlight.

But you had this idea you were going by train.
You kept checking the time table,
Digging for tracks.
And the boat got tired of you,
so tired it pulled up the anchor and raised the ramp.

The boat bobbing into the distance, shrinking like a toy -
At which point you probably realized you had  always loved the sea.



A Blessing
by James Wright


Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Eye Test
By Naomi Shihab Nye
 


The D is desperate.
The B wants to take a vacation,
live on a billboard, be broad and brave.
The E is mad at the R for upstaging him.
The little c wants to be a big C if possible,
and the P pauses long between thoughts.

How much better to be a story, story.
Can you read me?

We have to live on this white board
together like a neighborhood.
We would rather be the tail of a cloud,
one letter becoming another,
or lost in a boy’s pocket
shapeless as lint,
the same boy who squints to read us
believing we convey a secret message.
     Be his friend.
We are so tired of meaning nothing.




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1 comment:

claire said...

Neat, thank you. I do find that mindfulness is a key for me at the moment, and I rue the times when I am not.
Blessings.