we are words on a journey
not the inscriptions of settled people
Time to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap!
Do you know how it works? Unlike the Summer Poem Swap, when people do up to five swaps, the Winter Poem Swap is just one swap. This time, though, you are asked to send a wee gift along with your poem. If you would like to participate, send me an email (tabatha @ tabathayeatts . com) by November 3rd. I will give you the name and address of someone to send a poem/gift to (let me know if you want the same person to be sending to you or if it doesn't matter). Then you have a month to write your poem and put your package together.
On to today's poem! I have a deep and abiding fondness for poems about poets (and others -- e.g. "Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven” by Hans Ostrom).
To the Ghost of John Milton
by Carl Sandburg
If I should pamphleteer twenty years against royalists,
With rewards offered for my capture dead or alive,
And jails and scaffolds always near;
And then my wife should die and three ignorant daughters
Should talk about their father as a joke, and steal the
Earnings of books, and the poorhouse always reaching for me,
If I then lost my eyes and the world was all dark and I
Sat with only memories and talk—
I would write “Paradise Lost,” I would marry a second wife
And on her dying I would marry a third pair of eyes to
Serve my blind eyes. I would write “Paradise Regained,” I
Would write wild, foggy, smoky, wordy books—
I would sit by the fire and dream of hell and heaven,
Idiots and kings, women my eyes could never look on again,
And God Himself and the rebels God threw into hell.
He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem.
Okay, one more Milton quote:
In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out, and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.
Mistakes Anthology Submission Info
A Day in the Life has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Leigh Anne!