Thursday, November 8, 2018

Continuous Living

If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life.
~Pablo Neruda

photo by Larry Jacobsen

Today, poems about our commonalities, our struggles and joys, our rebirth.

Don't forget to send me your human rights poems by November 30th!


Your Laughter
by Pablo Neruda

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.


The Street
by Octavio Paz

It’s a long and silent street.
I walk in the dark and trip and fall
and get up and step blindly
on the mute stones and dry leaves
and someone behind me is also walking:
if I stop, he stops;
if I run, he runs. I turn around: no one.
Everything is black, there is no exit,
and I turn and turn corners
that always lead to the street
where no one waits for me, no one follows,
where I follow a man who trips
and gets up and says when he sees me: no one.


photo by Tauralbus

Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón

...Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.


Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


Linda B said...

It is a harsh world recently, and your first two poems reflect that, with some hope, grabbing on to laughter, and then the Ada Limon poem brings us up, doesn't it? In defiance, carry on! I've been reading Limon's Bright Dead Things and enjoy her reflections always. Thanks, Tabatha!

Michelle Kogan said...

"Your Laughter" How refreshing and renewing, and I love the determination and never giving up in Ada Limon's poem, thank you for both–they add some levity to all.

Sally Murphy said...

Much to think on and ponder in all three of these. the line that stood out on fist read was: 'the strange idea of continuous living'.

Erin Mauger said...

Thanks for sharing and for the reminder about the human rights poems. I think I missed that post. It's nice to have a challenge or two to focus one's writing.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Wonderful poems, all! And so comforting to know that with poetry we are never alone. I can imagine many of Naomi Shihab Nye's poems fitting in with these voices, as well. Thank you for sharing these, T— perfect for these difficult days.

jama said...

Thanks for these thought provoking poems. Needed some wisdom and inspiration for these troubling times.

Irene Latham said...

These are lovely, Tabatha. Thank you. I am especially valuing laughter these days! xo

Mitchell Linda said...

I am always amazed at the connections you make. You are a superb anthologer. And, I never come to this blog without seeing a new poem or a new poet. I love Neurda up against Paz. The fulfillment next to the longing. Clever pairing there. I have a human rights poem to send you. I'm having my crit group give it a look over before sending. I really, really enjoyed the challenge of it. Thank you!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Tabatha, you get the award for Cultural Curator of the Present Moment. Thank you for always offering an oasis-like drink of cool clean water in the deserts we wander in.

Diane Mayr said...

The winter weather hasn't even arrived and I'm longing for spring, and a release from the winter of our nation disaster. Two years has been too long.

"I’ll take it all."

Kay said...

As always, the poems you choose to share speak to me and the week we are in. Thank you. said...

Thank you for sharing these powerful poems. The first one is so lovely--there is nothing like the sound of laughter from someone you love to light up a day. And the second one evokes such a feeling of longing and being alone in a crowd. And instructions for not giving up come in very handy these days!! Such a thoughtful combination.