poetry

A poem for 2020

It’s raining and it’s freezing

I think I’ll die of boredom

I’m terrified of sneezing

And every movie stars James Corden.

Boris Johnson’s still in power

There’s some confusing economics

I’m checking Twitter every hour

Marvel ruined my fave comics.

We’re all just pawns in politics

It’s complete and utter shite

It’ll take more than a year to fix-

So see you then! Goodnight!

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sashayed:

sashayed:

johndarnielle:

sashayed:

sashayed:

johndarnielle:

jhermann:

 mecharirychan:

Who’s this fucking skeleton trying to hoard all the cave treasure for himself

The Gang Goes Cave Diving

“there’s nothing in this cave worth dying for” would make a great refrain line in a villanelle

Beyond this point the cave, and nothing more.
This is as far as you were meant to be.
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

The signs and every far-off voice implore,
The heart, the mind, the flattened lungs agree:
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

Just airless dark. Just bones on the sea floor.
The fruitless search. Your mother on TV.
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

A picture that you saw some years before,
A diver in a sea-beneath-the-sea…
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

An underwater river in whose bore
Were caught the branches of a sunken tree.
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

Forget the cord that tugs you to explore, 
The silver voice that whispers, Come and see
The darkling wave, the glowing secret shore. 

There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for.

johndarnielle challenge accepted

I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am by this. A+ work in my opinion, don ye the laurel it is yours by right

This still haunts me because a bunch of people informed me it’s not how a villanelle actually works, and they were right, and I felt shame! However, I still have this laurel & if u want to take it from me u can fight me for it physically.

shit wait i got it

No darkling wave. No glowing secret shore.
Turn back. Accept there’s nothing here to see.
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for. 

Just airless dark. Just bones on the sea floor.
The fruitless search. Your mother on TV.
No darkling wave or glowing secret shore.

The signs and every far-off voice implore,
The heart, the mind, the flattened lungs agree:
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for.

A picture that you saw some years before, 
A diver in a sea-beneath-the-sea,
A darkling wave, a glowing secret shore–

An underwater river in whose bore
Were caught the branches of a sunken tree….
There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for.

Forget the cord that tugs you to explore,
The silver voice that whispers, Come and see
The darkling wave, the glowing secret shore.

There’s nothing in this cave worth dying for.

Questionnaire

adamweinstein:

Wendell Berry

1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

sashayed:

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.

“Dirge Without Music,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. 

“The Average Fourth Grader Is A Better Poet Than You, (And Me Too),” Hannah Gamble

miffly:

airy-minotaur:

strangeasanjles:

laughingacademy:

commovente:

While in graduate school at the University of Houston, I supplemented my income by working as a writer in residence for Writers in the Schools (WITS). I was with WITS for three years, during which I visited third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms, and worked with groups of students visiting the Menil museum of art, the Houston Historical Society, and the Houston Arboretum.

When first hired by WITS, I expected that working to explain some of my favorite poems to fourth graders would result in me becoming a better teacher of poetry. What I wasn’t expecting was that (thanks to having my brain blown apart on a weekly basis as I browsed my students’ folders of barely legible poems) I would become a better poet.

Here are some lines written by students in grades 3rd-6th:

“The life of my heart is crimson.”

[Writing about a family member’s recent death:]

“My brother went down/ to the river
and put dirt on.”

“Peace be a song,
silver pool of sadness”

“Away went a dull winter wind
that rocked harshly, and bent you said,
‘Father, father’.”

 

[Writing about a terminal illness:]

“I am feeling burdened
and I taste milk……
I mumble, ‘Please,
please run away.’
But it lives where I live.”

“The owls of midnight hoot like me
shutting the door to nothing.”

[Writing about life as a movie:]

“The choir enters, and the director screams
‘Sing with more terror!!!’”

 
“I have provisions. Binary muffins.
It’s an in/out/in/out kind of universe.
We cannot help you,
this is a universe factory.
A sound of rolling symbols.
Disappearing rocks, screams of lizards.
Sanity must prevail. Save vs. Do Not.”

“I, the star god,
take bones from the
underworlds of past times
to create mankind.”

These young writers are addressing subjects that still obsess poets fifty years older: sadness, death, love, responsibility, aging, family, loneliness, and refuge…and they are addressing these subjects in language that is new, and thus has the power to emotionally effect a well-seasoned (/jaded) reader. The average fourth grader is able to do this because she hasn’t been alive long enough to know how to do it (and by “it” I mean talk about the world) any other way.

Story time: When I was a child I believed that one day I might be allowed to cross into an alternate dimension by walking through a quilt hanging on my living room wall. As I got older I stopped believing that this was a possibility—not because I grew to believe that the universe was not an extremely strange place where incomprehensible things could happen on a daily basis, but because I passed year after year after year not being able to enter the spirit realm through a wallhanging.

Anecdote that I hope you’ll find relevant: When Jean Piaget began studying the intellectual processes of children, he was not doing so because he had any special interest in children. Piaget was interested, rather, in the intellectual processes of (adult) humans and was seeking a control group. [His first thought was that the best control group would be comprised of martians but, as he did not have access to martians, he decided to use children since children possessed what is farthest from human consciousness.]

So let’s look at what happens to our young writers as they age [I took these lines from poems written by middle-school/ high school students (Italics, mine)]:

 Snacking on this and that
my friends and I keep the party going
even when it is over”
 

“Whispers of a
secret crush being unraveled”

“I’m trapped in this hole that
I can’t break through”

“Barack Obama in the White House.
I can feel the inspiration
Can you feel it?”

“Now I feel secure with my head held high.

Sad times. By middle school/high school, the average student has learned how normal people talk. The resulting language is underwhelming and predictable—the safe regurgitations of a thoroughly socialized consciousness.

While the average older student’s poems are heavy with allegiance to a limited view of reality, the average younger writer’s vision of the world is nimble and surprising—bazaar, yet true.

Last year I spent every Saturday tutoring an extremely undersocialized kid in vocab. When I taught her the word blandishments (“to flatter, coax, sweet-talk, appeal to”) she wrote this sentence: “The blandishments of the sugar flowers made the cake so much more inviting.”

The sentence is interesting because the student understood that a blandishment is something that attracts favorable attention without fully realizing that people almost always use the word to refer to a human action.

The poet’s job is to forget how people do it.

(source)

Never has such a short line of text completely broken my heart like “my brother went down to the river / and put dirt on”

daystarsearcher

adults often forget how complex and intense the emotional lives of children are. i do too, sometimes. that’s part of why stuff like this is so important, a reminder that while yes, kids are kids and do kid stuff, their lives are not necessarily easy.