alexiscartwheel: (reading)
As promised, a poem for National Poetry Month. Emily Dickinson is a long-time favorite and I particularly like this poem. At one point in time it was actually the theme of my LJ layout. Enjoy!

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
alexiscartwheel: (bsg - roslin)
I'm in need of some positivity this morning. I discovered this poem through one of the line--"Art is long and time is fleeting"--which is painted on a wall inside the Library of Congress.Longfellow's 'A Psalm of Life' )
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
I didn't really know anything about Miller Williams, other than that he wrote this poem that I really like, so I checked him out on Wikipedia. Apparently he read at Clinton's second inauguration, and he's Lucinda Williams dad. Awesome! Anyway, my ignorance about Williams aside, I first encountered "The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina" in a poetry writing class my freshman year in college. The sestina is a tricky form. The same six words are repeated at the ends of the lines of each stanza in strict pattern. Done poorly, the repetition seems clunky and contrived. Done well, you get this poem.

The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina

Somewhere in everyone's head something points toward home,
a dashboard's floating compass, turning all the time
to keep from turning. It doesn't matter how we come
to be wherever we are, someplace where nothing goes
the way it went once, where nothing holds fast
to where it belongs, or what you've risen or fallen to.

What the bubble always points to,
whether we notice it or not, is home.
It may be true that if you move fast
everything fades away, that given time
and noise enough, every memory goes
into the blackness, and if new ones come-

small, mole-like memories that come
to live in the furry dark-they, too,
curl up and die. But Carol goes
to high school now. John works at home
what days he can to spend some time
with Sue and the kids. He drives too fast.

Ellen won't eat her breakfast.
Your sister was going to come
but didn't have the time.
Some mornings at one or two
or three I want you home
a lot, but then it goes.

It all goes.
Hold on fast
to thoughts of home
when they come.
They're going to
less with time.


Forgive me that. One time it wasn't fast.
A myth goes that when the years come
then you will, too. Me, I'll still be home.
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
Sometimes the confessional poets can be a little bit much, because they're just so depressing. (You can be a poet and not kill yourself. Really!) But I do really appreciate them. Tonight's selection is from Anne Sexton. I bought Sexton's Complete Poems several years back when I had a gift card and was looking to try something new. Sexton's poetry is brutally honest, and she tackled subjects that were extremely personal and often taboo. "The Truth the Dead Know" is from her 1962 book All My Pretty Ones, and I love what she does with sounds and images.

The Truth the Dead Know
    For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
    and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in the stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
[ profile] isiscaughey has been sharing some favorite poems in honor of National Poetry Month, and though we're nearing the end of the month, I figure it's not too late to contribute some of my own. I'll hopefully be posting one a day, starting today with Elizabeth Bishop.

Elizabeth Bishop is one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, and "One Art" is one of her most famous poems. It's written in a form called villanelle, which features a pattern of repeated lines. In this case, the subtle variations in the repeated lines add a lot of impact. For anyone who thinks formal poetry is stodgy and boring, I hope this proves you wrong.

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
From [ profile] isiscaughey

Post your favorite poem, and pass it on.

Because I could not stop for Death-- )

I like this meme. It's easy and literary! :)
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
Here's what's going on today in handy list format:

1) I have my car back! The coolant now stays in the radiator.

2) The Library of Congress has selected the new United States poet laureate. Her name is Kay Ryan, and she "has a distinctive and widely imitated style that involves steep enjambment, carefully positioned but irregular rhymes and a kind of off-kilter aphoristic wisdom." Definitely a writer I'll be looking into.

3) David Duchovny has a blog, and it's kind of amusing. There are at least a couple X-Files fans among my friends who may appreciate random comments like this: "patrick stewart was the first internet sex symbol with hair but pileggi always thought it was him."

4) We have cable! I think we're supposed to only have about 20 channels, but we've actually got 74. Way cool! This means I can watch the Food Network again. Right now they're making pie. I want a pie.

5) I've recently watched "The Ambassadors of Death," "Inferno," and "Terror of the Autons." I'm really digging the Pertwee era and the whole UNIT family. All three of these were good stories, and "Inferno" is especially enjoyable. (It has an alternate universe with Evil!Brig. He has an eyepatch. Awesome.) Jumping to the future, "The Creature from the Pit" has plenty of cheese, but is still pretty darned entertaining.

6) [ profile] d4ni thinks I should be packing--or should have done so two days ago--but my flight's not for another thirteen whole hours. I say, what's the rush?
alexiscartwheel: (kaylee)
BSG tonight! To celebrate, a silly limerick! :D

Season 3 Spoilers Re: The Final Five )

* * *

Miley Cyrus seriously needs to get the heck out of my head. That song will not leave me alone! (Forget "All Along the Watchtower"; you want people to go crazy, play some Miley Cyrus.

* * *

This morning at work the printer jammed five times and had two more imaginary paper jams, all in an hour. I think that the printer, like the Cylons, has evolved. And it HATES me. Also, I saw a guy in a Gogol Bordello t-shirt, which was cool. I recently started listening to some of their music. It's fun stuff!

* * *

I finished two books yesterday: Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint and The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry. Both were short--less than 200 pages each, and the latter is a children's book--but that's still a lot more reading than I get done on the average day. They're both good, by the way.

* * *

Another story of daft moves by American publishers: One of my friends in Montreal recommended the book Starter for Ten by David Nicholls, which she said is her favorite book ever. (Definitely sounds worth a chance, eh?) Unfortunately, when I looked for it in the library here, they only had the movie version. Several weeks later I finally discovered that the book was initially published in the US by a different title, A Question of Attraction. For the paperback edition (after the movie release) they switched back to the original title, which I think was a better title in the first place.

Armed with this knowledge, I've finally located a copy, and I started reading this morning (in between printer jams). We'll see if it lives up to Sarah's hype.

* * *

And welcome to my new friends from from [ profile] goin_my_way! Only one more day 'til the Doctor and Donna hit the screens! :D
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