The Poem-a-Day service of the Academy of American Poets featured two of my favorite poets this week. I love the personable vibes from these women, the particularity, the quirkiness.
My father got me interested in poetry, giving me a volume of Emily Dickinson and telling me I could “get started” on her, but he admitted that he didn’t think there were any “great” women poets. I think he was wrong about that. I don’t know if he ever changed his mind.
Dear March – Come in
by Emily Dickinson
Dear March – Come in -
How glad I am -
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -
I have so much to tell -
I got your Letter, and the Birds -
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare – how Red their Faces grew -
But March, forgive me -
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -
There was no Purple suitable -
You took it all with you -
Who knocks? That April -
Lock the Door -
I will not be pursued -
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied -
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come
That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame -
by Marianne Moore
My father used to say,
“Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
or the glass flowers at Harvard.
Self-reliant like the cat—
that takes its prey to privacy,
the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth—
they sometimes enjoy solitude,
and can be robbed of speech
by speech which has delighted them.
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.”
Nor was he insincere in saying, “Make my house your inn.”
Inns are not residences.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged art, ashbery, Bruno Schulz, criminal ingenuity, ellen levy, jonathan safran foer, joseph cornell, marianne moore, poem, poet, poetry, pratt, vanderbilt on July 31, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
An island neighbor has just published Criminal Ingenuity: Moore, Cornell, Ashbery, and the Struggle Between the Arts (Modernist Literature and Culture). Ellen has been studying poets Marianne Moore and John Ashbery, and artist Joseph Cornell for some years — first as a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt and now at Pratt. I don’t know much about Joseph Cornell, but I did hear novelist Jonathan Safran Foer give a lecture about how Cornell’s work inspired him to cut up Bruno Schulz’s “Street of Crocodiles” every which way from Sunday and make a kind of art book out of it.
A few poets read this blog from time to time, so you might want to take a look at Ellen’s book. If you read it, could you send me a short review to post?
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Behr, car, Chicago, color, colour, Home Depot, marianne moore, Martha Stewart, NY Times, poet, Turtle Top, Valspar on July 3, 2011 |
3 Comments »
Suzanne began her retail career working summers just a few hours a week at a tiny toy store called Mouse House where her brother, John, had worked before. Between Mouse House and leaving college, there were at least two clothing stores and many restaurants. When she graduated from college, she worked for a popular clothing manufacturer in New York, in the merchandising group. One of her tasks was to make up names for lingerie colors. A particular color she remembers was a shade of pink that she called “flirt.”
The NY Times just published an amusing article on the accelerating trend of naming colors to evoke an idea or a mood. There is an art to it.
“At Valspar, located in a Chicago high-rise near O’Hare airport, colorists can meet in ‘vignette’ rooms that encourage storytelling. One resembles an outside deck, replete with a porch chair and mural of Wrigley Field. Ms. Kim assigns the colorists homework, like browsing certain magazines and blogs. One, called colourlovers.com, allows users to create and share their own palettes; among more than one million offerings are I Feel Sorry for You and When Time Ran Out. They also watch movies and visit stores. And a few times a year, they head downtown for a big brainstorming session at a loft building called Catalyst Ranch and its brightly colored meeting spaces, which are intended to help employees think creatively. …
“Taryn Look, 25, an actress, who was checking out Home Depot’s Behr collection the other day, rolled her eyes at some of the names. ‘I wonder how much these people get paid,’ she mused, glancing at Genteel Lavender, a color
she said she would rebrand My Gay Best Friend. But she did pause at a color named Lightweight Beige, and soon she was telling a story about when her parents met. Her father told her mother that he liked her in beige, and so she swapped her once-colorful wardrobe for one that was all beige. Ms. Look said she would rename the color My Mother, After She Met My Dad.” Read more.
This reminds me of the poet Marianne Moore being asked to brainstorm names of cars. She came up with Turtle Top, but the idea was not adopted.
Use the comments feature to suggest a name for a color? I’ll start. How about a sparkly blue called “Tanya Running through the Sprinkler”? Or a dark purple called “Black Fly Season.” Or a gold-orange called “At Last the Missing Manuscript.”
Not sure this will ever be my forte.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged bayberry, eat smart in france, fire island, fort point channel, jellyfish, marianne moore, poem, poetry, ronnie hess, verse, whole cloth on June 28, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
What makes you happy? The bluebird of happiness brushed a little air current toward me today as I crossed over a bridge at lunch. So I can report that one thing that makes me happy is seeing the jellyfish arrive in Fort Point Channel on a sunny day in late June.
I remember being ridiculously happy at the sight of Fort Point Channel jellyfish some years ago on a Boston visit that broke up a three-year landlocked Minneapolis sojourn. Minneapolis had its points, but it didn’t have jellyfish. Jellyfish naturally lead to thoughts of 25 summers on Fire Island and going with my father at dusk to shine flashlights on glowing blobs in the water along the boat dock.
Two poets share many Fire Island memories with me. Poem 1 is by my sister Nell. Poem 2 is by Ronnie Hess
, now based in landlocked Wisconsin. I offer the conclusion to Ronnie’s “Dinner at the Shish Cafe,” and you may read the whole poem here
1. May 1986
Now the island belongs to the deer
And the birds and the wild bayberry flowers
And the workmen
Wearily riding the ferry,
To work on other people’s houses,
Carrying their tools home at night.
There’s no honeysuckle
Yet rimming the streets
And the crown-vetch sliding through
Rips in the concrete
Has no pink buds
And the rain is like tears
Over the fog-filled ocean.
What brush, what watery ink
Has painted this sky
The color of bruises?
2. My husband says listening to poetry is hard work. Poems are dense.
Sometimes, I let him read mine. He sits quietly. He studies them.
He edits in blue ink in the margins, he writes words like
Good, nice image, not quite right, and meaning unclear.
Those lines of Ronnie’s remind me of the ever ironic poet Marianne Moore
, who wrote of her beloved art, “I, too, dislike it.” By which she meant, I think, that it was hard work.
Read Full Post »