Jack Kerouac

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 over  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

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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?

*Stars*

If I had to make a list of my favorite things I would list stars among them. Ever since I was a little girl I have adored stars. I always thought how neat it was that God created stars and how they are made. That they are so far away but yet, seem so close.  I love how they shine and sparkle in the darkest night, always adding light on a dismal night. Stars were also calming. I would look into them and forget everything. Those long car trips to and from my grandparents house, I would look at them and forget everything because I was awe of their beauty and began to think about them. What they are made out of?” How did they get there? Why are some more sparkly than others? When I was first learning about astrology and astronomy in school I use to take my little maps and try to find the constellations. I never could. The maps made it seem so easy, but I was never good at reading maps or compasses. Even though I never found Orion’s belt I enjoyed looking for it.

In addition to their beauty and wonder, stars can lead the way home. Maritime travelers relied on stars and constellations for many years before technology/radar/sonar etc… Slaves following the Underground Railroad followed the North Star and the Drinking Gourd on their way to freedom. Stars even make for great songs and folktales for example: Coyote Spills the Stars (Native American), The Stars and Stars’ Road (African), and Follow the Drinking Gourd. Stars also inspire writers/poets/painters/musicians.

Below are some quotes and passages from literature about stars. I hope you enjoy them and maybe this will inspire you to read more about stars or go out and look upon a starry sky tonight….

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“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”  On The Road, Jack Kerouac

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” On The Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”  Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” Cosmos, Carl Sagan

“We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…we all shine on…come on and on and on…”  Shine On, John Lennon

“If I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears.

Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn’t, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn’t tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they’d never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness.

The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn’t fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.”  Jodi Picoult

“Each star is a mirror reflecting the truth inside you.”  Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry, Aberjhani

“Art is everywhere you look for it, hail the twinkling stars for they are God’s careless splatters”  El Greco

“We don’t look at the stars in the universe and say how tragic they are, how bruised they are, even though that is what they are. We look at them and speak of the beauty they contain. The inspiration they give us. Even though stars are the scars of the universe we don’t see them as these broken pieces of gaseous matter, we see them as these majestic astrological blessings that give hope to billions. What if you saw yourself in that same light, or better yet what if you saw others in a similar way.”  Barefoot Christianity, Ricky Maye

Now for a little fun….

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