Whenever I write a post about poetry, my blog readers-never numerous-disappear to the dark side of the moon. They do not want to hear about such a moribund art, and I would not want to hear it either if I did not love it so much. And since this is my blog, I will indulge myself.
Here are two examples of what we have lost.
The first are some lines by Shelley in "Adonais", his tribute to the dead John Keats:
"The One remains, the many change and pass:
Heaven's light forever shines,Earth's shadows fly:
Life, like a dome of many colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity".
And secondly, W.H. Auden, describing the peace of a summer evening:
"The lion griefs loped from the shade
And on our knees their muzzles laid,
And Death put down his book".
This, my friends, is Poetry-
And now to what we have found.
And I am not making this up.
I found this gem a few years back in a little magazine, and I was so taken by its
magnificent awfulness that I copied the whole thing.(I tried to read it to my mother
the other day, and she begged me to stop). I will not list the author, though I will
say she is still publishing, and has been praised by Ted Kooser and Billy Collins.
"In the scruffle tremble
world my heart is
cake batter. The world rattles
like a piggy bank".
A few stanzas later her heart is back again-
closes like an automatic garage door".
A bit later on she forgets her heart and the cake batter, and asks" Have you ever put
a butterfly in your mouth?"
All I can say about this is that she would not have to be eating butterflies if she
hadn't squashed the cake under the door. And I hope the butterfly was not a monarch-
This goes on for two and a half pages, and the mystery is why did she stop? Perhaps
with her eating habits her verbal diarrhea evolved to physical.
Example number two was a mini essay I read a few days back on the Poetry Magazine
website. Ruth Lilly, heir to the Prozac fortune,donated 200 million dollars to that
magazine, and I will let you decide if money can buy taste.
The young woman who wrote the essay decided to reveal the most wonderful first line
she could remember in a poem. The poem is about Hansel and Gretel, and here is its
dazzling first line-
" Shit! Are we lost?"
Comment would be superfluous. Goodnight, and good luck. And yes, we are lost.
* I do apologize for some of the line breaks. I did not see them till the end, and I am too tired to re-write.