Tuesday, April 02, 2019

NPM: Day 2

When I started taking stock of my open links, I was sort of embarrassed to realize I had three from Irene Latham's blog, Live Your Poem. Plus a poem of hers on someone else's blog. I decided to combine all of them into one post, lest Irene feel I was stalking her. If I am, Irene, it is only in the most admiring way. But then, that's a pretty stalkerish thing to say.

I've been reading Irene's blog for years now, and I own several of her books (reviews here, here, and here). She's a lovely writer and a generous soul, sharing her time and talents freely on the internet. She's also the founder of the Progressive Poem. But what I admire her for the most is her delicate hand with a metaphor.

So here are my tabs.

This is my favorite of Irene's poems from last year's NPM, "Let There Be Poetry." Beautiful! This year she's doing ARTSPEAK again, with happiness as her theme.  Here's the first one. This post from Tabatha's blog has been open on my desktop for a while. It has several wonderful poems in it, but my favorite is the one Irene wrote called "Thirteen Reasons Why Not." My favorite part is the end:

and most of all
because I want to know
what it's like

to be an old woman
who loves an old man.

The fourth Irene tab is from 2016, and it's a creed poem. She has several of these in her poetry books, and I've always admired them and wanted to try one. This one is called "I Could Say I Believe in the Ocean." You should definitely follow the link and read it, and/or listen to Irene read it, before you read mine, written with hers as a mentor text. I'm not entirely happy with mine, because my metaphors seem so much more obvious than what she's done, but it was fun to write anyway.

I Could Say I Believe in Flowers

But what I mean is,
I believe in color:
red and yellow and orange,
blue and purple and screeching pink,
combinations no designer would dare.

I believe in roses
and dandelions,
bougainvillea of every shade,
orchids and daffodils and
Queen Anne’s lace and
blowsy zinnias.

I believe in being big or small,
showy or shy,
posing boldly for Georgia O’Keeffe
or hiding in the undergrowth
where nobody finds you
unless they’re quite persistent.

I believe in blooming
when it’s time.

I believe in greenhouses
and hedgerows,
medians left unmowed,
formality like Versailles and
riotous chaos of weeds.

I believe in growing
and wilting,
in dying
and coming back to life.
I believe in fertilizer
and tender loving care,
but also in being left absolutely alone sometimes.

I believe in the Gardener
ambling among the flowers,
loving each one.

Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

Thanks, Irene, for everything you do to promote poetry on- and offline. Happy National Poetry Month to you!

Here's today's line in the Progressive Poem, on Kathryn Apel's blog. You can see the whole schedule here.


Margaret Simon said...

I love your I believe poem. So much in a flower to believe in, the special time to bloom, the death and resurrection, the colors! You've captured a bit of truth here too. Lovely.

Amy LV said...

Oh, yes. Belief in all of the many ways we grow, all of the neat and all of the messy. This is beautiful. Thank you, Ruth. And I, too, am a fangirl of wise and generous Irene! Happy National Poetry Month. xx

Irene Latham said...

Dear Ruth - this post makes me blush and fills me with gratitude and love for you, and for the internet, actually. :) So many times I marvel at this community! I'm honored and humbled to know something I've written may have been an open tab on your computer. Your words and life have been that for me as well, so many times! And this poem - wow! I love growing along with you, Ruth. Thank you for being you, and for all these beautiful words. xo