Tuesday (one week and counting…) Musings

Did I mention I’ve been a terrible failure at blogging this summer? The summer semester has kept me running at a steady clip and on top of that, we’ve decided to start looking for a house. We went out on our first “hunt” last weekend and despite the torrential downpours and a few broken lock boxes, the entire experience proved to be fascinating. I hope as we move into fall I’ll have regular updates.

No, I have not forgotten about poetry. Even though I have yet to sit down and draft several poems that are swirling around in my head, I am comforted by the fact that they’re there, if only in scribbled journal note form. As soon as the semester ends (next week) and I get through the grading (next week) I plan to get several poems on paper.

The rejection letters have begun to roll in. I received three over the past few weeks. Hand written note from one and form letter from the other two.

Here are a whole bunch of poems/quotes I’ve been accumulating over the past month.

She Walks in Beauty, Stanza I

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless slimes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

Lord Byron

“Poetry didn’t find me, in the cradle or anywhere near it: I found it. I realized at some point–very late, it’s always seemed–that I needed it, that it served a function for me–or someday would–however unclear that function may have been first. I seemed to have started writing poetry before I read any.” ~ C.K. Williams


I prove theorem and the house expands:
the windows jerk free to hove near the ceiling,
the ceiling floats away with a sigh.

As the walls clear themselves of everything
but the transparency, the scent of carnations
leaves with them. I am out in the open

and above the windows have hinged butterflies,
sunlight glinting where they’ve intersected.
They are going to some point true and unproven.

Rita Dove

Sleeping in the Ceiling

It is so peaceful on the ceiling!
It is the Place de la Concorde.
The little crazy chandelier
is off, the fountain is in the dark.
Not a soul in the park.

Below, where the wallpaper is peeling, the Jardin de Plantes has locked its gates.
Those photographs are animals.
The mighty flowers and foliage rustle;
under the leaves the insects tunnel.

We must go under the wallpaper
to meet the insect-gladiator,
to battle with a net and trident,
and leave the fountain and the square.
But oh, that we could sleep up there…

Elizabeth Bishop

From “Silence”

There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There is the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And the silence of Napoleon
After Waterloo.
And the silence of Jeanne d’Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blessed Jesus”–
Revealing in two words all sorrow, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it.
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.

Edgar Lee Masters

A Wedding Poem

Bright faces surround the woman in white,
the man in black, the sweetness of their attention
to each other a shine rising high toward the high ceiling.
The men watch the groom, and the women
the bride, as they speak their candle lit vows,
as if there were something in it for us personally.

Worn by the distances we the already-married
have traveled down the road on which these two
are setting out, we leave the dust of the journey
outside the door of this house where tonight no word
is casual, no posture undignified, and each
becomes again handsome in them, beautiful in them.

Thomas R. Smith

I just noticed while I was typing these out that many contain the word ceiling. Interesting.

Community colleges are deeply unsexy. This fact tends to make even the biggest advocates of these two-year schools — which educate nearly half of U.S. undergraduates — sound defensive, almost a tad whiny. “We don’t have the bands. We don’t have the football teams that everybody wants to boost,” says Stephen Kinslow, president of Texas’ Austin Community College (ACC). “Most people don’t understand community colleges very well at all.” And by “most people,” he means the graduates of fancy four-year schools who get elected and set budget priorities.

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