Taking what is, and seeing it as it is,
Pretending to no heroic stances or gestures,
Keeping it simple; being in love with light
And the marvelous things that light is able to do,
How beautiful a modesty which is
Seductive extremely, the care for daily things.
At one for once with sunlight falling through
A leaded window, the holy mathematic
Plays out the cat’s cradle of relation
Endlessly; even the inexorable
Domesticates itself and becomes charm.
If I could say to you, and make it stick,
A girl in a red hat, a woman in blue
Reading a letter, a lady weighing gold . . .
If I could say this to you so you saw,
And knew, and agreed that this was how it was
In a lost city across the sea of years,
I think we should be for one moment happy
In the great reckoning of those little rooms
Where the weight of life has been lifted and made light,
Or standing invisible on the shore opposed,
Watching the water in the foreground dream
Reflectively, taking a view of Delft
As it was, under a wide and darkening sky.
by Howard Nemerov
posted, with love, for Kerry
It’s a gorgeous morning in Chicago, and I’m daring to hope that spring has finally arrived in my beautiful city. I need a suitably joyous and effulgent poem with which to celebrate, and nothing I’ve found is really scratching the itch. Show me what you have, people. Recommend your favorites, and I’ll choose something and post it here.
In the meantime, I leave you with this vision of loveliness, captured on my block about a month ago. See why I’m so pleased that warmer weather has arrived? Now the street-mattresses are much more dry and comfortable. Less chafing, you know.
This one is a long time favorite of mine, and singularly appropriate for one of the most dismal Februarys I’ve ever experienced. Take it to heart.
Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up
– Frank O’Hara (from his Collected Poems)
For everyone who has literally or figuratively collapsed this month, myself included, I love you get up.