Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Friday: Jane and Me

It's Friday again!  This time last week, I didn't know that today, my daughter would be here visiting.  She studied in England this summer, and the plan was that she'd spend the rest of the summer in the States, until college starts again.  But then someone bought her a plane ticket, and here she is.  It's so good to have her home, to talk without technological aid (and with our slow internet, both Skype and FaceTime have their serious limits), and to get to hear all about her trip while it's still fresh in her mind.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup offered a bunch of first line prompts, and the instructions were to grab one and leave one (or to grab as many as you wanted, but leave an equal number).  In return for the prompt I took, I left a Paul Simon quote: "Maybe love's an accident, or destiny is true, but you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue." (Hear it in context below.)

The first line I took was "This poem wants writing," and here's what I did with it:

This Poem

This poem wants writing
and I’m the one to do it.

This poem needs putting down on paper
so here goes.

This poem, floating around in the atmosphere,
ought to be grabbed and immobilized.

This poem longs to be read
and it can’t be, unless it’s written.

This poem is getting tired of waiting
and I’m still dilly-dallying.

This poem is leaving now, flitting away,
off to find someone to write it.

Ruth, from

I read a bunch of Jane Kenyon poems this summer, and here's one I liked.  Most of us have the same view most days.  We may travel sometimes, but we come back to the same life, and that's the life we have to work with, not anyone else's.  The trick is to keep finding inspiration in that life, to keep seeing it even though it's so familiar. 

In Several Colors 
Every morning, cup of coffee
in hand, I look out at the mountain.
Ordinarily it's blue, but today
it's the color of an eggplant. 

And the sky turns
from gray to pale apricot
as the sun rolls up
Main Street in Andover

I study the cat's face
and find a trace of white
around each eye, as if
he made himself up today
for a part in the opera.


Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Perhaps the poem is on its way toward me. I love the beat under that Paul Simon tune and his dazzle.

Linda Mitchell said...

Gasp! Wow....that's GORGEOUS! I love it and how Brenda hope's it's coming her way. Oh, my goodness. I'm so wowed. Always a pleasure to visit you, friend.

Jane @ said...

I love the image you've crafted, of a poem waiting, impatiently, for just the right poet to grab it and bring it to life on the page. Sometimes that's exactly how I feel when I'm writing - that the story just won't wait another moment for me to put pen to paper and capture it!

Linda B said...

Happy for your "daughter" surprise and that's why you shared you were looking and hearing about pictures on FB. Love the idea of a poem floating around, waiting to be written. You've taken that line and written a beautiful image, Ruth. And, rich post, the Kenyon poem is wonderful. Thanks!

Kay said...

Enjoy the unexpected surprise of your daughter's visit. I can definitely relate to your poem. I often have poems swirling around that beg to be written--if only I will sit down to do it. It reminds me of what Elizabeth Gilbert had to say in BIG MAGIC about ideas wanting to find someone to express them. If the first person doesn't do the work, the idea will move on to the next person. And Jane Kenyon is always a good way to start the day or spend a summer with.

Carlie said...

What a wonderful pick from Jane Kenyon. I love her work so much. I don't remember this particular one. Thanks for sharing.

Love seeing what you did with the prompt! I missed the instruction to leave something after you took one! Whoops!

Mary Lee said...

I love the way that poem is tapping it's little foot (ha ha, pun intended), so impatient to be written that it can't do what Jane Kenyon does -- look closely at the world around it, taking note, even, of the white hairs around the cat's eyes.

Donna Smith said...

Perhaps that is why sometimes we read a poem and think "oh, I wish I'd written that!" That may have been the poem that got away before we could write it, and it flitted off to another poet whose pen was at the ready!

michelle kogan said...

This post is marvelous!!! Love your poem, it reminds me of a Mary Oliver poem, and I love all the punctuated sounds and words in Paul Simon's "Dazzling Blue" Jane Kenyon's poem was the extra kiss at the end of your post, thanks for all, rich and lovely!