Friday, September 30, 2011

Poetry Friday: Sonnet 29

I love this poem. Typing it out is a pleasure. How blessed I am, and yet how much time I waste wishing I were like someone else. Indeed, when I value my blessings rightly, I scorn to change my state with Kings.

And yes, once again I've gone all week without posting. Sorry.

Sonnet XXIX
William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possest,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising -
Haply I think on thee: and then my state,
Like to the Lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at Heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poetry Friday: Hold That Thought

It's Friday again! How does that happen so fast?

Today I have an original poem for Poetry Friday. I have been learning a lot lately about the beauty of other people, and appreciating how wonderful family and friendship are. Sometimes I feel guilty for having my focus on my own little world, and protecting myself so much from all of the pain and injustice Out There. I do still care about the World At Large, but so often I find myself shying away from it in this season of my life and focusing on what I feel I can do something about: my family, my friends, my classroom.

Anyway, this is that kind of poem.

Hold That Thought

I'll hold it carefully,
Gently in my hand
Like the most beautiful royal blue marble
You ever won on the playground,
Like the last bite of a chocolate bar.
I'll fold it up and store it away
Like a scrap of cloth of gold
Or the map to El Dorado.
I'll hide it by moonlight
(I'll never tell where).
No one will find it
Even with pickaxes and bloodhounds.
Your thought, my friend, is safe with me.
I'll hold that thought.

by Ruth, from

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poetry Friday: Hurry

Yesterday, Janet left this comment on last week's Poetry Friday post here at my blog: "Okay, this is your last day before Friday to post something other than a Poetry Friday post. Waiting, waiting..."

Janet, I'm hanging my head in shame. Once again I went a whole week without posting between Poetry Fridays. And as Friday ebbs away with Parent/Teacher Conferences, grading quizzes, and finally some family time with my coughing son, exhausted husband (he was up with said son in the night), and happy daughter (she found some recordings today of Tolkien reading some of his work), I was starting to wonder if there would even be a Poetry Friday post this week. While I don't want Poetry Friday to be the only thing on my blog, I also don't want there to be nothing at all for my visitors to read.

I guess life must be back to normal for me, because week after week goes by filled with ordinary days, ordinary frustrations. Last week we had the twenty-month anniversary of the earthquake and the first time I thought of it was at quarter to seven in the evening. This was the first time the anniversary did not fill up my day; each month up until now, I have been aware of significance all day long on the twelfth. It's good to be more me again, but at the same time I never want to lose the sense of urgency the earthquake gave me, the desire to savor each day.

Today I found this poem:


By Marie Howe

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I'm sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.

I don't want to hurry through the days; I want to take time to appreciate them. Yes, I have to grade those quizzes, but there's time for some poetry too.

You can see what other people posted for Poetry Friday here.

And Janet, I really will try next week to post something other than Poetry Friday!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Poetry Friday: Afternoon on a Hill

Another week with no posts between Poetry Fridays! I've got to do something about that.

I keep thinking I need something serious this week, with the disasters everywhere and the anniversary of 9/11 coming up this weekend, but I keep coming back to this one. After all, what better time to appreciate what is beautiful in our world, to appreciate it this afternoon, because it might not be there tomorrow? The line I love most in this poem is "I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one." Can we enjoy the world around us without needing to possess it or exploit it or develop it? Taking nothing but photos?

Afternoon on a Hill
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

I wish I could spend this afternoon on a hill, but sadly I must grade instead. Here's today's roundup.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Poetry Friday: Fireflies and Songs

Another week with nothing posted between Poetry Fridays! This week I have been enjoying Sara Groves' new album, which is available here only - it doesn't really come out until October. Today, I decided to post one of her older songs for my Poetry Friday offering.

Fireflies and Songs
by Sara Groves

thirty years ago I was a little girl
riding in the back seat of the car
a woman sang you don't bring me flowers anymore
I felt a sadness in my little heart

we're looking for the music
in the music box
tearing it to pieces
trying to find a song

I was drawn to you in ways I can't explain
we fought like crazy but I couldn't stay away
piled on expectations and lots of blame
like we couldn't do it any other way

we're looking for a firefly
moving through the night
staring at the one place
swear it never lights

were you surprised our hearts were not like ticking clocks
with faces and hands easy to read
we both wished if only in the land of oz
longed for things we'd never really need

now we're standing in the kitchen
all pretense is gone
you kiss me on the shoulder
fireflies and song

And here she is singing it:

Tricia has the Poetry Friday roundup here, at the Miss Rumphius Effect.