Thursday, March 18, 2021

An old sea’s grace

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
~John Buchan

Dobby Gibson today. (Now I know of two Dobbies.) I wonder if someone from Poetry Friday has shared this poem before? It was featured on Tracy K. Smith's The Slowdown, so I'll bet some of you heard it.

What object reminds you of a planet (or a country) when you look at it?

Poem for an Antique Korean Fishing Bobber
by Dobby Gibson

Little glass planet,
I like picking you up.
As if I’m holding my own thought,
one blown molten with a puff
of some craftsman’s breath⏤is it still inside you?
You are a beautiful bauble it’s hard to imagine
anyone hurling you into the sea,
but eventually we all have a job to do.
I think of the early mornings and storm warnings
you braved to find the village dinner.
I don’t remember carrying you
home on the plane from Seoul,

read the rest here


Another poem by Dobby Gibson: What Follows Us Now Must Soon Enough Be Carried
Also The World as Seen Through a Glass of Ice Water


Here's another poem from The Slowdown (not by Dobby Gibson) which reminded me of a conversation I had with my son recently. I said that cooking for people was one of my love languages and he said that his girlfriend's parents say sorry by offering fruit. In that case, food does convey a pretty clear message. (What are love languages? I posted about them here.)


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


Linda Mitchell said...

Tabatha, I have fallen out of the habit of a daily Slowdown poem. I need to get back to it. I had not heard this beauty before. But, I love it. The thoughtfulness, the transparency and trouble...I am not a monster. So many incredible lines with simple language. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm reading When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller right now--and the Korean references are fresh in my mind.

Linda B said...

I am grateful for the poets & poems you bring to us, Tabatha. And I'm always amazed at how they make us think of others' lives, even here, someone holding a fishing bobber, a memory? I love "but because I, too, am transparent and trusting,/and mistake both for the truth." Because of this week's tragic events, it seems to speak to that with heartbreak. Thank you for all the others, too.

Bridget Magee said...

Thanks for the introduction to Gibson's poems, Tabatha. His "What Follows Us Now..." poem is especially resonant for me. I can't tell you how many times people would "tell me that my daughter is 'a lucky girl'" because she is an adoptee. His poetic storytelling is amazing. And his description of hip replacement and how it "feels like an ice cream headache in her leg" - wow!

Janice Scully said...

Thank you for sharing this. It made me think about what it means to be far away from where you came from and what that all means. So complex and so much firm resistance to understanding now. Much to think about.

Ruth said...

I followed all your links and loved every one. I had heard both of the Slowdown poems you shared - I really miss that podcast! I hope it will start up again at some point. Thanks for all your bounty once again, Tabatha!

michelle kogan said...

I too followed all your links, quite a full plate of poetry you've offered. I'm most taken by Dobby Gibson's "…Korean Fishing Bobber," I love the conversation he's having with the pole, and also like Linda B his lines about transparency and trusting, and as he continues with the "sordid undulations" in our lives–so much here, thanks for all.

Jone said...

I love Gibson’s poem, Korean Fishing Bobber. Beautiful. I do love the slowdown poems.

Mary Lee said...

I missed this one. Now I'm thinking I need to go back to the SlowDown archives and read them ALL.

I especially loved this line (but there were many): "but eventually we all have a job to do"

My love language is a three-layer from-scratch chocolate cake.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

"if ur mum doesn’t randomly bring u
cut up fruit is she even ur mum"
I cannot quite explain why the Jennifer Lai poem has me dropping tears like nicely cut apple slices in a bowl, except that there is grief in any subtle Asian traits this week. Yesterday my son offered me the last cube of the mango he cut for himself, apologizing that he didn't think of sharing until the last bite. That is a father in training, I think.

Irene Latham said...

Dear Tabatha, you are helping me with a work in progress. Your curation of poems, too, is one of your love languages. Thank you! xo

Kay said...

The Gibson poem took my breath away--so much to think about in something held in your hand--we all have a job to d.

Karen Edmisten said...

Tabatha, you find the most beautiful stuff. Thank you.