Thursday, June 22, 2017

Holding our breath like a coin

Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.
~Roman Payne

I'm really into mentor poems these days, and I can see using the first of today's poems as one. "If you were a ______"...

by Heather Sommer

Your first time out of the country
of your own skin, I didn’t bring a map.

You always hated that I’d been lucky
enough to pick my way through streets

I couldn’t pronounce to find cathedrals,
graveyards. If you were a city, you said,

I’d only like to know your suburbs.

read the rest here


by Christopher Howell

When Keats, at last beyond the curtain
of love’s distraction, lay dying in his room
on the Piazza di Spagna, the melody of the Bernini
Fountain “filling him like flowers,”
he held his breath like a coin, looked out
into the moonlight and thought he saw snow.
He did not suppose it was fever or the body’s
weakness turning the mind. He thought, “England!”

read the rest here


My Juicy Little Universe has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Heidi!


BJ Lee said...

Hi Tabatha! Love these both! But the first one - WOW! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That first one is rich on so many interconnecting pathways of meaning. WOW - indeed!

Linda B said...

Are they bittersweet, or celebrations, Tabatha? I love the thoughtful differences in the words. You so often make me pause with what you share. Thank you!

Laura Shovan said...

Ooh, "Traveler" has some teeth. It's a sort of love poem, isn't it?

jama said...

Two poets new to me. The Keats poem reminded me of visiting his house in Hampstead. In the first poem, I'm still marveling at the phrase "held his breath like a coin." Wow.

Mitchell Linda said...

Oh, my goodness....I feel like you are my travel partner this Poetry Friday. I'm traveling and I have saved this post because it's giving me so many ideas! I agree with Laura, there are some magnificent "teeth" in that poem, Traveler.

Kay said...

I love that Traveler poem. My mind is going all kinds of directions with it. I agree, it would make a fabulous mentor text.

Ruth said...

You always find the best stuff.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I'd like to follow you in the travels that take you to all this best stuff you find--my goodness. If you were a city, you would be full of little crooked lanes leading to open squares of aromatic plants, surrounded by shops where people make and sell special things.

Margaret Simon said...

I am swooning over these poems. "held his breath like a coin" is a most perfect simile and this poem teaches me so much I didn't know that it drives me to want to know more. Thanks!

Brenda Harsham said...

Those two poems are even more fascinating paired than either is by itself, and that is saying something. What rich language and potent journeys they take. Only a writer could leave the white shadow of childhood to linger behind, even past life itself.

Violet Nesdoly said...

I was captivated by the first two lines of "Traveler":

"Your first time out of the country
of your own skin,..."

What a perfect way to prime the imagination pump.

Mary Lee said...

I, too, keep saving poems in a folder titled "Mentor," either for form or seed lines. This one has a good challenge -- to build a poem up to the mentor line instead of down from it.

The Keats poem is such a hopeful possible glimpse of the way our mind might help us leave at the end. Even before the end, I want to remember to hold my breath like a coin, a precious, precious coin.

Diane Mayr said...

This tore my heart: "and there he was, secretly, for the rest
of his improvidently short life: up to his neck
in sleigh bells"

Thanks for sharing!

michelle kogan said...

Thank you for these poems Tabatha, what I enjoyed most about them is how they both transport us through different points of view. Heather Sommer's fits so perfectly to our times and lack of wanting to see another's view point.
Christopher Howell's poem–how rich and deep this is, and with such brevity. It makes me want to know more about Keats and the end of his life.