ee cummings

Use Poetry

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.”

-Jack Kerouac

 

Last week I had a blog post ready to go but I didn’t publish it. I liked it, and it was truthful, but it felt sorta “venty” and not in the good way. I may publish it one day but for now it is drafted and saved in my “maybe” pile. It was a post all about my frustrations with yoga and all the shit that’s going on right now, but I didn’t want to be seen as judgey or that I was following suit with all the other personalized “venty” pieces going on. I then made a commitment to make two posts in one week– at this rate it’s going to be two posts in two weeks *insert upside smiley emoji*. As I was thinking about what I wanted to write I saw an IG post that it was National Poetry Month. Voila! There is my inspiration–sharing some of my favorite poems. So here ya go! Longer poems will be excerpted and hyperlinked.

 

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*Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much but they can’t see

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They still can’t see.

I say:

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman

That’s me.

 

*A Poem for Trapped Things by John Wieners

The blue diamonds on your back

are too beautiful to do

away with.

I watch you

all morning

long.

With my hand overĀ  my mouth.

 

*Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

I too am not a bit tamed…I am too untranslatable,

I sound by barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

The last scud of day holds back for me,

It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadowed wilds.

It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air…I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,

I effuse my flesh in eddies and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love.

If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean.

 

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*She by Theodore Roethke

We sing together; we sing mouth to mouth.

The garden is a river flowing south.

She cries out loud the soul’s own secret joy;

She dances, and the ground bears her away.

She knows the speech of light and makes it plain.

A lively thing can come to life again.

 

*Borrowed Feet by Michael McClure

LOVE ME FOR THE FOOL I AM

(the laughing angel-imbecile)

The thrill

of kissing you

is seeing me reflected

in your eyes.

We try for purity

but

still

we’re glorious

blobs

of meat.

 

*Love Song by William Carlos Williams

I lie here thinking of you…

the stain of love

is upon the world!

Yellow, yellow, yellow

it eats into the leaves,

smears with saffron.

the horned branch that lean heavily against a smooth purple sky!

There is no light

only a honey thick stain

that drips from leaf to leaf

and limb to limb.

Spoiling the colors of the whole world.

You far off there under the wine red salvage of the West!

 

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*Feeling is First by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first

who pays attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you;

 

wholly to be a fool

while Spring is in the world

 

my blood approves,

and kisses are a far better fate

than wisdom

lady I swear by all the flowers. Don’t cry

–the best gesture of my brain is less than

your eyelids’ flutter which says

 

we are for each other: then

laugh leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph

 

And death I think is no parenthesis

**********

What are your favorite poems? Who are your favorite poets? Do you have a style that you like more than another? I tend to favor Beat Poetry and Free Verse. I also tend to love poetry that speaks to me on a deeper level, like I can see myself in it. What do you think makes poetry special and unique?