sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 2, 2009

poetry reading around the world
posted by soe 11:03 pm

Poke about the web a bit and you can’t help but notice an abundance of poetry every February 2. It’s not because rodents are terribly fond of a bit of poesy, but merely because it marks the annual Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading. The event honors Brigid (or Brigit or Bridhe), Celtic goddess and Catholic saint of poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, healers, cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies. It was her celebration marking the impregnation of the ewes that Christians co-opted to become Candlemas (which, ultimately, was celebrated by German immigrants in Pennsylvania as Groundhog Day).

I offer you this year a poem by John Frederick Nims because I would love for something similar to be said of me. I found it in my freshman English textbook, bookmarked by a note from my college roommate, wishing me a happy 21st birthday:

Love Poem
    ~John Frederick Nims

My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing

Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.

Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers’ terror,
Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime
Yet leaping before red apoplectic streetcars —
Misfit in any space. And never on time.

A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only
With words and people and love you move at ease.
In traffic of wit expertly manoeuvre
And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.

Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel,
Your lipstick grinning on our coat,
So gayly in love’s unbreakable heaven
Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.

Be with me, darling, early and late. Smash glasses —
I will study wry music for your sake.
For should your hands drop white and empty
All the toys of the world would break.

Previous years have brought you poems by Mary Oliver, Grace Paley, and Heather McHugh and Barbara Hamby.

Category: arts,life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

That is a GREAT poem!!! Thanks for posting that!

Comment by Jenn 02.03.09 @ 7:35 am