Happy World Poetry Day!

Books, Music, Art, Movies

I have nothing original to share with you as it seems I’ve lost my writing mojo, but here is Sylvia Plath reading Lady Lazarus. It’s a brilliant poem. You can read the whole thing here.

I’m still in my Sylvia Path kick, still reading through her diaries and I just finished reading the poems in the restored version of Ariel. I am really blown away by it. I am currently reading the prologue written by her daughter, which is also very insightful. It’s interesting to read how defensive she is of her father and how protective she is of their relationship.

I want to turn around and read the whole thing again. I think is is the best collection of poetry I have ever read and it’s totally groundbreaking. It deserves all of the hype.

The journals are good, as well. I can’t just sit and read them all the way through, I have to take a break from the now and then. It feels a little weirdly voyeuristic and slightly uncomfortable to read them. But It’s really interesting to see the way her mind worked.

Here is a great video of John Greene talking about Plath and Lady Lazarus

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Happy Blog Birthday, Blatherskite

Life

My blog is 15 years old today! Wow. I almost can’t believe it. I also can’t believe it was only 5 years ago that I celebrated my 10 year blogiversary by handmaking a book of favorite blog posts. I feel kind of bad that I didn’t think to do anything like that for this anniversary. Hm. Maybe before the year is up I will come up with something. Maybe a book of photos? Photos and poems? I’ll have to think about it…

To celebrate, here is a pantoum I write several years ago using the lines of the first post I ever wrote.

R. and I took a drive up the coast yesterday.
It was so rejuvenating.
We went to one of our favorite beaches.
I don’t know the name of the beach but it is very beautiful.

It was so rejuvenating.
There are lots of rocks jutting up from the ocean.
I don’t know the name of the beach but it is very beautiful.
Yesterday the waves were huge!

There are lots of rocks jutting up from the ocean.
I felt so full of energy and hope.
Yesterday the waves were huge!
I don’t ever want to leave this place.

I felt so full of energy and hope.
I love living here.
I don’t ever want to leave this place.
Expensive it is and hard to get by.

I love living here.
We went to one of our favorite beaches.
Expensive it is and hard to get by.
R. and I took a drive up the coast yesterday.

 

The original blog post was a rumination on “should I stay or should I go” regarding moving away from Santa Cruz. We moved. We still very much miss Santa Cruz and still ruminate about moving back someday.

A death poem for the new year

Poetry

The glass slips out of my grasping hands.

CRASH!

A thousand suns glisten on my kitchen floor.

 


The death poem is a tradition in Zen Buddhism. Our sangha writes one at the new year every year as a way to reflect on the past year. I believe the tradition is that Buddhist monks wrote them on their death beds, but that might be more romanticism than truth. I like the idea of thinking of the putting away of the old year as a kind of death, and thinking about the new year as a rebirth.

You can read my past death poems here, and our sangha’s poems here.

Inspiration

Books

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Still working my way through “Her Husband.” Really enjoying this read. I have checked out the Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath and am reading them as Middlebrook references them.

In the book I’m at the end of Plath’s life, which is really sad. But this is also when she wrote her groundbreaking poems from Ariel: Daddy and the poem from which the book got it’s title.  I have a greater appreciation of her work after reading this book.

I’d like to read the Restored  Edition of Ariel to get a feel for how she actually wanted the book to be published, as opposed to how Ted Hughes thought it should be published.

I am also really enjoying reading Birthday Letters along side this book, as well. I didn’t mention this last week, but Birthday Letters is a collection of poetry Hughes wrote about Plath in the years after her death. It’s basically a biography of their relationship in verse, from the perspective of Hughes.  Middlebrook sort of uses this collection of poetry as a jumping off point for the book.

All of this poetry reading has made me interested in writing poetry! Over the years I have collected a number of poetry writing books and I’ve never cracked them open. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve cracked one of them open. I am inspired to at least read these books! Whether I will have time to actually write is another story.