Friday, March 22, 2013

A Toast to World Poetry Day


Langston Hughes . . . Yeats and Keats . . . Shakespeare and Wendell Berry each farming words in their own unique ways. . . Audin, ah, Audin . . . and a little-known poet from West Virginia* who writes of walking in a rain no one would be caught dead in without a Bible . . . Naomi Shahab Nye . . . Chesterton . . . Wordsworth (how could he have been anything but a poet?) . . . Rilke raining beauty within beauty upon all who care to know . . . Dylan and Baez and Simon and Byrne and Bowie – poets of my youth and age in a time when poetry is best (or at least most memorably) found in music . . .

I read on fb that it’s World Poetry Day today (well, actually, it was yesterday – my invite must have gotten lost in the mail).

Poetry has been, for me, an acquired taste come comparatively late in life.

If there must be favorite, I suppose today, this day (for it may be different tomorrow – it was yesterday), Leonard Cohen is the placeholder of my heart.  And so I leave you with Anthem . . .

The birds they sang 
at the break of day 
Start again 
I heard them say 
Don't dwell on what 
has passed away 
or what is yet to be. 
Ah the wars they will 
be fought again 
The holy dove 
She will be caught again 
bought and sold 
and bought again 
the dove is never free. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

We asked for signs 
the signs were sent: 
the birth betrayed 
the marriage spent 
Yeah the widowhood 
of every government -- 
signs for all to see. 

I can't run no more 
with that lawless crowd 
while the killers in high places 
say their prayers out loud. 
But they've summoned, they've summoned up 
a thundercloud 
and they're going to hear from me. 

Ring the bells that still can ring ... 

You can add up the parts 
but you won't have the sum 
You can strike up the march, 
there is no drum 
Every heart, every heart 
to love will come 
but like a refugee. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in.


______________
*Llewellyn McKernan, My Own History, in Many Waters: Poems from West Virginia.


2 comments:

  1. I love that you included Dylan in your list of poets.

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    Replies
    1. Debbi, How could I not? :-)

      Peace, Beth

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