Thursday, October 7, 2021

Read a Poem


Remember The Maw, the pedestrian bridge over the tube tracks that I cross on my way home from work? It's starting to look more autumnal, as the leaves of the Virginia Creeper vines turn red and filter the sunlight. It still doesn't look inviting, though, does it?

I have to be up and at 'em early this morning. I switched shifts with my co-worker, which means I'll be at work an hour earlier so I can leave earlier this afternoon for a picnic with some other colleagues. Hopefully Olga won't decide she wants a walk this morning, because ain't nobody got time for that.

Yesterday my boss realized that today is National Poetry Day in the UK. So we printed out some posters and I put together another book display:



Not as decorative as my Halloween display, but I was pretty happy with the selection of poetry I managed to scrounge up. You may not be able to see the names on that middle shelf of books in the top photo: Nikki Giovanni, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Muriel Rukeyser, John Greenleaf Whittier, Carl Sandburg. Looking at it now I realize I need more Latino and Asian representation. I'll remedy that later today.

I must admit I put "The Lice" on there mainly because I found the title eye-catching. But it turns out the book might be pretty pertinent to our current geopolitical condition. According to critic Jarold Ramsey, quoted here by the Academy of American Poets, it carries "an eerie sense of bearing witness to a world already in mid-apocalypse."

(I'm balancing that with the warmth and Zen sensibility of Mary Oliver.)

So, anyway, read a poem today! I'm off to work!

46 comments:

  1. A good selection..hope you get a good response.

    Wishing you good picnic weather..looks like heavy rain most of today here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, our weather wasn't that great! (See following post)

      Delete
  2. I am not really a poetry lover, but I just adore this one ...." Where are the Snowdrops said the sun". It is by Annie Matheson 1853-1924.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember you mentioning that one before! It's great to have a favorite. Can you recite it? I once got a discount at a bookshop for being able to recite a poem from memory!

      Delete
  3. Noooo, the walkway does not look inviting. Who is responsible for the walkway?

    Good to see Ogden Nash got a gig. I expect The Lice might attract young lads, A Light in the Attic young lasses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume it's Transport for London, or maybe the local council. Not sure! (Maybe they're not sure either.)

      Delete
  4. POEM FOR NATIONAL POETRY DAY

    There was a yank called Steve Reed
    Who walked his dog on a lead
    At Hampstead Heath
    She bared her teeth
    And barked until she was freed.

    P.S. The walkway reminds me of the day I was born!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Mr. Pudding, I was eating my breakfast when I read this and now I have your mother's vagina stuck in my head!

      Delete
    2. That's funny. My father used to say that.

      Delete
    3. Excellent poem, YP! As for the walkway, I'm not sure I will ever see it the same way again.

      Delete
  5. I see Tupac looking menacingly out at me there. I remember my Grandson being obsessed with him when he was young, not a good role model really is he? lol
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tupac was quite smart and came from a cultured background -- I saw a documentary about him not too long ago and was surprised because I'd always considered him something of a thug. I think there was more to him.

      Delete
  6. That walkway is the stuff of nightmares.

    My favorite poets are Langston Hughes, Thom Gunn and Mark Doty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Mark Doty too -- I have one of his books. I'm a Plath fan.

      Delete
  7. I love that photo of the walkway. At first glance I thought it was the inside of a cathedral with stained glass windows shining their colors!
    I have never really gotten into poetry much; I like your displays tho! Happy Poetry Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sun coming through the leaves IS quite pretty! I once read that poetry is frequently written and rarely read, or something like that, and that pretty much sums it up.

      Delete
  8. I had the same thought as Ellen D that the walkway looked like the inside of a cathedral with stained glass windows. it's beautiful. Someone needs to put art on the walls inside of all that graffiti. It would be lovely.
    Nice poetry display. I think I'll read some Mary Oliver today to celebrate the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary Oliver is always a good go-to poet. I can open her books to any page and be inspired.

      Delete
  9. That photo is amazing, love it. And the Mary Oliver poem, I love her too, led me to an article about spiders, which scare me but also intrigue me.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/2013/08/spiders_cobwebs_proliferate_th.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a really interesting article! I always wondered how spiders start their webs -- that explanation answered my question!

      Delete
  10. That photo is truly a fine one. I am not sure I could use the walkway, though. It would raise all the hackles on many women, I think.
    Pablo Neruda?
    All right. Thanks. "I ain't got time for that" is permanently stuck in my head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've seen women use it, but I would understand their being a bit nervous. Even I wouldn't use it after dark, at least not alone. I did put out a Neruda book yesterday! Also Natalie Diaz's "Postcolonial Love Poem" and Ocean Vuong's book of poems.

      Delete
  11. I hope that some kids will take a second look at poetry. We need more poetry being read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It's mentally challenging and teaches us to listen to the sounds of language.

      Delete
  12. I love that fall glow of red over that bridge. I imagine since you cross it everyday that it's safe but it looks a bit scary to me.
    I used to own a copy of The Light in the Attic. I must have given it away because I don't see it now.
    "Ain't nobody got time for that".... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's safe during the day, but I'd think twice about using it at night.

      Delete
  13. That’s a great and eclectic collection of poets. And thanks for including Ogden Nash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some poetry purists I know don’t consider him a poet. I had a classical theatre professor friend who called him “That juvenile rhymer.”

      “The cow is of bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other is milk.” Genius!

      Delete
  14. I agree with some of the earlier comments... the red creeper through the grate reminds me of stained glass.

    A good, varied collection of poetry on offer. I remember watching an interview with Tupac once that really impressed me and totally changed my thoughts about him.

    Now I think I'll sift through my poetry collection to see what I can read in honor of the day. Maybe Mary Oliver or, perhaps, Ted Kooser. Are you familiar with Lucille Clifton or Natasha Tretheway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that's the same film I watched? My impressions about him changed over time as well, as I said above. I've heard of Clifton but I can't name anything she or Tretheway have written.

      Delete
    2. For the record, I opted for "none of the above". I pulled a collection of Linda Pastan poetry from the shelf to honor the day.

      Delete
  15. Busy Boy You Are - Olga Girl Will Tell You How The Day CAN Plan Out - Be Well Brother

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  16. That pedestrian bridge might look more friendly if it were painted over all the graffiti. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would, but the graffiti would reappear in short order, sadly.

      Delete
  17. I love Mary Oliver and will stick with her for now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's an excellent selection of poetry! I can't decide - I think I sort of like The Maw. But I'm a little weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's visually interesting but also vaguely menacing, I think. (Hence my name for it.)

      Delete
  19. Oh, damn, National Poetry Day! :-) Funny that when I used to work in schools, I always used to organise something with the parents, a poetry reading, for instance.

    That's a gorgeous photo.

    Is it me or are the leaves taking a bit longer to turn this year? I'm working all over the place at the moment, usually cycling through parks and green areas and the leaves are still very green.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, if we'd had more time maybe we could have staged some kind of event. I know the English classes are working on poetry now (and probably frequently) so I'm sure students are doing reading there. I find that the leaves don't hit their peak until late October, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're behind. Everything's growing cycle seemed a little off this year.

      Delete
  20. I read poetry a lot. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Love the photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell me what you read, just out of curiosity!

      Delete
  21. Some of that poetry is quite sophisticated. I hope some of the students take a look.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, some of it might be a bit academic for high-school reading, but I tried to get some more appealing stuff on that shelf too!

      Delete