Saturday, February 2, 2008

brigid's song

to mark the feast of brigid* (and candlemas, groundhog day) reya of the gold puppy issued a clarion call to celebrate the day by adorning the blogosphere with poetry. to this I offer two poems. the first is by one of my favorite contemporary poets, mary oliver. mary's poems are full of magic, energy, and transcendence. on poetry mary states: "poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry."

the second poem I offer is one I find achingly beautiful with a history that is a manifestation of one of my grounding affirmations: "life is a lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other." the author of this poem is unknown, what is known is that the poem was left behind by a child who perished in the warsaw ghetto uprising. yes, a lament and a song.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
by Mary Oliver (b. 1935) poet

Today I Shall Be Glad

From tommorrow on, I shall be sad -
From tomorrow on!
Today I will be gay.
What is the use of sadness - tell me that?
Why should I grieve for tomorrow - today?
Tomorrow may be so good, so sunny,
Tomorrow the sun may shine for us again.
We shall no longer need to be sad.

From tomorrow on, I shall be sad -
From tomorrow on!
Not today; no! today I will be glad
And every day, no matter how bitter it be,
I will say:
From tomorrow on, I shall be sad,
Not today!

* st. brigid is the patron saint of cattle, children whose parents aren't married, dairy workers, fugitives, midwives, newborn babies, poets, babies, poultry farmers, blacksmiths, scholars, travelers, boatmen, and ireland -- in other words all of us!

pictures: geese in flight. ohio, fall 2007; me & a few of my wee buds august, 2007 - this picture is especially for reya who said she would like to see a picture of me without a camera in front of my face!


Reya Mellicker said...

BEAUTIFUL!! Wild Geese is one of my all time favorite poems. We used to routine read it to initiates in Reclaiming during their ceremonies of initiation.

And the second one, YES YES YES. Tomorrow I'll be sad, but today!

SO GREAT to see your face!!


Barbara said...

WOW! Your poetry was my breakfast and it tasted so good.

Salty Miss Jill said...

I love both poems-especially the second. A good one to read when one is feeling blue, for sure. :)
Also, when I am down, I will remember to look at that gorgeous photo of you and the sweet!

Colette Amelia said...

OK, I popped in to lift a photo for me thoughts and then I popped back in to read your thoughts...and voila! two minds in sync once again! I am shocked and amused by our connected minds and spirits!


mzjohansen said...

What an amazing capture of geese! Love it

I have to admit I never thought I would be someone who would even consider looking for an arthritis predictor!
I remember the time - seems like not too long ago - that I never even had a 'regular' doctor!.
I am still blessed though -it hurts but it's not fatal !!
Have a wonderful weekend Ms Mouse!
Could not reply via email .. you're "no reply" on Blogger I guess.

Gary said...

Wonderful post. Who knew I could enjoy peotry this much? I think everyone is choosing well today. I too have thrown a poem into the blogosphere.

The pictures are fantastic as well.

Anonymous said...

You're such a beautiful soul.

lettuce said...

lovely, these are both great and perfect for me just now, thankyou. and I didn't know mary oliver, i will hunt her out.

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

fabulous, thank you for these:)

Steve Reed said...

Mary Oliver is one of my favorites! And I didn't know that one -- what a terrific selection.

The second is wonderful, too. A really great pairing you've made, here. :)

jenclair said...

Both poems are wonderful. Even better-- the combination of the poems with that wonderful photo!

Bobby D. said...

really nice, I'm still soaking up the poetry.
pretty family--where are the kittie cat family members at?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

the poetry slam for brigid's feast sure was wonderful, I've enjoyed all the poems that have been gracing the cyberhood and I'm still finding more poems as I scurry from blog to blog.

what a terrific NEW tradition! thank you reya & deborah oak!

WAT said...

Oh oh oh, the kids are toooooo cute! LOVE IT!

deborahoak said...

what would a poetry fest be without this poem! I am a therapist and I read this poem to almost every client at one time or another. Thank you!