I'm writing this on Thursday night, at the end of Poem in your Pocket Day. This morning my daughter sent me a quirky, funny ghazal called "By Accident," by Amit Majmudar (my daughter had recently heard him speak), and that was my poem for the day. It's from his book 0°, 0°, and it contains the following words:
First she gave me the wound by accident.
Then the tourniquet she tied unwound by accident.
Your friend may want to start running.
I gave his scent to the hounds by accident.
Only surfaces interest me.
What depths I sound I sound by accident.
What should we look for in a ghazal, Amit?
Inevitabilities found by accident.
You can observe some of the rules of a ghazal in this excerpt, if you aren't familiar with them, and here's a link giving a little more explanation and a few more examples.
I was happy to have a poem in my pocket, and then later in the day, I saw a Facebook post by the Academy of American Poets suggesting this Emily Dickinson poem as one to keep in one's pocket. This one was definitely an inevitability found by accident, just as Amit suggested.
It's All I Have to Bring Today
It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
Isn't it a little annoying that we always have to take our hearts with us wherever we go? In the Bible it talks about God replacing our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and I often think that a heart of stone would be a lot easier to deal with. It might not pump blood very efficiently (and that is, after all, one of the main uses of a heart), but it would hurt less than the flesh variety. I lug it all with me: fields, meadows, bees, and that pesky heart, always slowing me down.
Here's my response to Emily, and maybe I'll stick this one in my pocket for tomorrow, commonly known as Day After Poem in your Pocket Day.
It's all I have to bring today --
My pesky heart of flesh --
Bandaged and bruised from all its wounds --
And often hurt afresh --
As armloads of clover make me sneeze --
My heart continues strong --
My bee-stung, sunburned, sturdy heart --
For it's survived this long --
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
The incomparable Irene has today's roundup. I've been loving her NPM project this year; take a look at her poems inspired by art from the Harlem Renaissance.
6 hours ago