Calling all poetry lovers! The muse informs me that it’s time I read some poetry.
My knowledge and understanding of poetry is sketchy, at best, but one can’t live in the world and not have some of it creep into one’s soul.
My grandfather (who left school when he was nine years old) used to recite parts of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Charge of the Light Brigade. My favorite YA (before there was such a thing) book, The Outsiders had that wonderful Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. Stay gold Ponyboy!!! Naturally, being a
The only poem I've ever memorized was one called Abu Ben Adam, by James Henry Leigh Hunt. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Helmsdorff made us memorize it. I suppose she was trying to teach us something about humility. I can still remember every line, but I've never met anyone else who's heard it before.
Abu Ben Adam, may his tribe increase
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
And saw, within the moonlight of his room
Making it rich, like a lily in bloom
An angel writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Abu Ben Adam bold
And to the presence in his room he said
' What writest thou?'
The vision raised its head
And with a look of all sweet accord Answered:
'The names of those who love the Lord.
'And is mine one?' said Abu.
'Nay not so' Replied the Angel
Abu spoke more low
But cheerily still and said
I pray thee then Write me as one that loves his fellow-men'
The angel wrote and vanished.
The next night it came again with awaking light
And showed the names of whom love of God had blessed.
And lo! Ben Adam's name led all the rest.
When the movie, Sophie’s Choice came out, I was assaulted by Emily Dickenson’s poem, Part Four: Time and Eternity and I start sobbing before the narrator can even begin to recite:
Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.
I’ve incidentally read and heard lots of poetry, but not with intent.Until now.
The muse is telling me that the time has come for me to read some poetry and that doing so might help me to become a better writer.
So, my dear friends, it’s time for me to solicit your suggestions. Where to begin? What specific poets, poems and books are your favorites, and what do you recommend I seek in this part of my journey? You know me – what do you think I’d like?
On a side note, Chapter 11 of The Foundling Wheel continues to evolve, but between an unexpected, but welcome visit from a friend this weekend and a scheduled social obligation, it is not yet finished. Soon.