Thursday, April 20, 2006

Poetry

I've never been a huge fan of poetry. I usually find it inaccessible. Style gets in the way of comprehension, and I feel a little lost. Like that poem we read in 12th grade English about a snake. Remember that one? Only, I didn't know it was about a snake until Mrs. Bloodaxe* asked what the poem was about, and the rest of the class said in unison "a snake," and I said "huh?"

So the point is I'm not so good with poetry. But Coach's recent foray piqued my interest, and I remembered that despite my aversion to the genre in general, I do have a few favorites that have stuck with me for years. Here are two:


All God's Critters (Got a Place in the Choir)
by Bill Staines

All God's critters got a place in the choir--
Some sing low, some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire,
And some just clap
their hands,
Or paws
Or anything they got.


Sentimental Moment Or Why Did The Baguette Cross The Road?
by Robert Hershon

Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are
huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you
really just
say that to me?

What he doesn't know
is that when
we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to
reach
for his hand

______________

"All God's Critters" is actually just the first stanza of this song. But even without the music, I love the imagery of all the animals in the world, clamoring to sing with God. And I think of myself as a chipmunk or a squirrel--maybe a racoon--with stubby little paws that I can't quite get together in rhythm. But it's good enough.

It makes me cry a little; that's the kind of sentimental fool I am.

And speaking of sentimental, can't you just see Hershon's scene? In the restaurant? And then at the curb? I've loved this poem since I stumbled across it five or six years ago. But now that I watch my own son (whose hairline isn't quite receding yet) growing a little faster than I want him to, now I think I get it.

And on that note, I'd like to leave you with one more of the Coach's poems.

Continuous Tumbling
by Coach
The boy dances for no reason.
Smiling, forcing laughter for fun, toe-headed like a picture.
But he’s real.
Bouncing and swaying, isn’t that move advanced?
Genius.

Picking nose is like a double back flip.
Eating cheerios too.
Pincer grasp with olympic precision.
That’s the boy. The boy. My boy.

I know some of ya'll are accomplished poets. (Amy, I'm looking at you.) So come on, let's share some poetry.

*Names have been changed.

6 comments:

Taffy said...

I've always liked this one...

I once saw a barge as long as it was wide.
Three miles and a half from side to side
A bigger contraption you won't find in the air,
on land or on sea or in stores any where.
But yard stick by yard stick ther's just no comparing that bardge to the the shoes that poor Mumford is wearing.
"Takes two steps to move 'em" that's the word on the street
and the soul thing that fills them is Mumford's big feet.

(There might be a few mistakes. Boss can correct it if she wants)

Tarimisu said...

Does DNA exist?
I am thinking no . . .

Tarimisu said...

OK, here's my real entry (and thank you for the accolades, Diana. You are, I think, my #1 fan!)

Come With Me

Come with me
Come stand with me in this field
Come watch the sun turn red and fade
And feel the wind
Come with me and hold my hand
And close your eyes
and feel this joy
Come run with me
And laugh and sing
I want you here
Because you are my friend
Come sit with me
In this tall grass
And we can hide and talk
Let the earth turn dark
And the crickets lull
Come walk with me
Through this tall grass
Let's think of peace
And smell the distant rain
And not be sad when in the middle
We part
Because we'll walk again
Through this field
Hand in hand
In the morning.
9-22-96

(not one of my best, but one of my favorites anyway. Diana, thank you for the invitation, and I really look forward to coming back and reading all the poetry!)

Anonymous said...

I can certainly picture the scenes, at the curb and in the restaurant, and my son's hair is well past receding--what is left of it he shaves off--and I know the feeling of wanting to reach out and grab his hand to help him cross the street. And I must refrain. Thanks for sharing the poem. I think it has become my favorite. Aunt Betty

B said...

I too love these poems. I'm not very good at remembering the poems that I read though, so this is the only complete poem that I can share right now:

V fly the geese.
Who me? said a goose
It's no use
for a goose.
You must have three
to fly a V!

And I'm sure I messed that up. I memorized it in 2nd grade--- I don't even know who to credit. But it's the one poem I remember.

I'm glad there are people in the world who can write such wonderful poetry.

Peanut said...

That is some mighty hair on that boy of yours!

How about this poem...

Teddy said it was a hat
So I put it on.
Now Daddy's saying
Where the heck's the toilet plunger gone?!