Thursday, February 13, 2020

Not even leftovers or condiments

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Last week, I shared a poem that is performed in the Poetry Out Loud high school recitation competition. This week I'm sharing two poems that would be great for Poetry Out Loud, if they aren't used for it already. In honor of the ups and downs of love, poems by Matthew Olzmann and Sara Teasdale:

Madarak számára szívből
by encsere

by Matthew Olzmann

Here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage
might work: Because you wear pink but write poems
about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell
at your keys when you lose them, and laugh,
loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol,
gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercials
from thirty years back and sing them when vacuuming.
You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents
of what you packed were written inside the boxes.
Because you think swans are overrated.
Because you drove me to the train station. You drove me...

read the rest here


Godey's lady's book, 1840

Spring Night
by Sara Teasdale

The park is filled with night and fog,
The veils are drawn about the world,
The drowsy lights along the paths
Are dim and pearled.

Gold and gleaming the empty streets,
Gold and gleaming the misty lake,
The mirrored lights like sunken swords,
Glimmer and shake.

Oh, is it not enough to be
Here with this beauty over me?
My throat should ache with praise, and I
Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.
O beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love,
With youth, a singing voice, and eyes
To take earth's wonder with surprise?
Why have I put off my pride,
Why am I unsatisfied,—
I, for whom the pensive night
Binds her cloudy hair with light,—
I, for whom all beauty burns
Like incense in a million urns?
O beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love?


TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!


Linda Kulp Trout said...

What a great ending to the Olzmann poem, and it holds a lot of truth. Thanks for sharing it! Happy Valentine's Day!

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, that Mountain Dew Commercial disguised as a love poem is great. That last damn dime says it all. That's a keeper. Sarah Teasdale? She's full of emotion! I wonder what item left in the fridge would move her to a love poem?

Linda B said...

I must say I love Linda's comment as to 'what item left in the fridge would move her. . .? The first is awesome & I love all the details. Thanks, Tabatha.

Carol Varsalona said...

The Olzmann poem was a notable one with a very different ending than I thought it would be but so tender. The Teasdale poem is a timeless one. Thanks for sharing the love, Tabatha.

mbhmaine said...

These poems are both fabulous and so different, and I love that you shared them together. That first one got to me with the specificity and intimacy of the details and then the luminous language of the second one grabbed me again. I feel rocked back and forth by these poems in the best possible way.

Tabatha said...

I think Sara would have loved someone to spend her last dime on. The plaintive quality of her poem makes think of Edna St Vincent Millay. I should have probably added this sonnet, which also connects with the first poem!
Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)
Edna St. Vincent Millay - 1892-1950

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

They are both great, but I especially love that Mountain Dew poem. Thank you, Tabatha! Happy Valentine's Day!

Janice Scully said...

These are both amazing poems. I'm sitting here with coffee reading them out loud. They both touched me in such a personal way, approaching love from such different directions, one from inside a relationship and the other about longing.

jama said...

The first poem reminded me of the movie "Marriage Story," where a young couple has written down what they love about each other -- also small, quirky details that add up to a whole person. Great last dime spent ending! Teasdale is always a delight -- her sentiment always transports me to another time. Thanks for sharing both. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Karen Eastlund said...

The Mountain Dew poem... priceless! I always enjoy your posts, but this one...the juxtaposition of two such opposites... just priceless! Thank you!!!

Karen Edmisten said...

I love each of these poems in different ways, yet somehow, in exactly the same way.

Jeanne said...

I also love the Olzmann poem and have never read it before. Thanks!

Carol said...

I love, love, love "Mountain Dew!" An absolutely perfect love poem! Thank you!

And just so you know, for several years, I have been absolutely sure you lived in Oregon. I'm not sure why! And then yesterday Linda and I had coffee with Laura Shovan and she told me that you are an east coaster! I have to change my whole geography!

Cheriee Weichel said...

MOUNTAIN DEW COMMERCIAL DISGUISED AS A LOVE POEM by Matthew Olzmann wows me. I also enjoyed the note at the end where he writes about his father. I agree that he has something to say.

Mary Lee said...

What a pairing!

Ruth said...

I love both of these poems. They are both so over the top and therefore perfect. #allthefeelings #imnotarobot

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Such a variety of love poems there are in the world. (Thank goodness for that!) The Matthew Olzmann poem totally reminds me of something you might hear at a spoken word competition. It's got that delicious heartfelt, contemporary vibe.

Joyce Ray said...

“My throat should ache with praise, and I should kneel with joy beneath the sky.” What beautiful lines. Thanks for sharing these two poems.

michelle kogan said...

Wow that first poem by Matthew Olzmann–a powerful love poem ripped from the heart. And thank you also for Edna St Vincent Millay's sonnet, especially her closing lines. said...

I love both of these poems. Thanks for sharing them. The first is so powerful and so specific that it becomes universal. And the second is so sad and filled with longing. They both address unanswerable questions in a beautiful way--Why do we love who we love? and Why is this not enough?