Tag: Life


Housekeeping by Natasha Trethewey

26
October

American Life in Poetry: Column 605
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

tretheweyBeginning writers often tell me their real lives aren’t interesting enough to write about, but the mere act of shaping a poem lifts its subject matter above the ordinary. Here’s Natasha Trethewey, who served two terms as U. S. Poet Laureate, illustrating just what I’ve described. It’s from her book Domestic Work, from Graywolf Press. Trethewey lives in Georgia.

Housekeeping

We mourn the broken things, chair legs
wrenched from their seats, chipped plates,
the threadbare clothes. We work the magic
of glue, drive the nails, mend the holes.
We save what we can, melt small pieces
of soap, gather fallen pecans, keep neck bones
for soup. Beating rugs against the house,
we watch dust, lit like stars, spreading
across the yard. Late afternoon, we draw
the blinds to cool the rooms, drive the bugs
out. My mother irons, singing, lost in reverie.
I mark the pages of a mail-order catalog,
listen for passing cars. All day we watch
for the mail, some news from a distant place.

Comment » | Life, Other Poets

Delivered by Cynthia Ventresca

6
June

American Life in Poetry: Column 585
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

The greeting card companies are still making money, though the inventive online “cards” are gaining ground. Here’s a poem about pen and ink greeting cards, by Cynthia Ventresca, who lives in Delaware.

Delivered

She lived there for years in a
small space in a high rise that saw
her winter years dawn. When the past
became larger than her present,
she would call and thank us for cards
we gave her when we were small;
for Christmas, Mother’s Day, her birthday,
our devotion scrawled amidst depictions
of crooked hearts and lopsided lilies.

She would write out new ones,
and we found them everywhere—unsent;
in perfect cursive she wished us joy,
chains of x’s and o’s circling her signature.
And when her time alone was over,
the space emptied of all but sunshine, dust,
and a cross nailed above her door,
those cards held for us a bitter peace;
they had finally been delivered.

Comment » | Life

This Life Apart- by Rick Stephen

13
October


manalone

This Life Apart

Silence reigns
as raindrops fall
and echoes down
the empty halls

Of a mind forlorn,
too numb to see
what life holds,
what could still be

His senses dulled
life became gray
yet he stumbles on
day after day

Without human touch,
his heart’s grown cold
and though still young
he feels so sold

So out of touch
with his own soul
he doesn’t know
he’s no longer whole

Even if he could,
he wouldn’t start
having grown to need
this life apart

4 comments » | By the Poetic Fool, Micropoetry

In the Land of Ennui – Rick Stephen

13
April

This poem was inspired by a particularly slow and tedious day. I was far more than bored and blue, I suffered from full-blown ennui. It’s a word I rarely use but was most apropos, I think. As you read, you will notice a tip of the hat to William Shakespeare toward the end, a quote I think fit in with the flow quite well. Thanks for reading. As always, your comments are most appreciated!

ennuiIn the Land of Ennui

The sun rises
on another day
just one more
in an endless sequence
that hold nothing
but onerous seconds
followed by more
onerous seconds
making mundane minutes
and the minutes, irksome hours
laden with fatigue
marked only
by heavy sighs
and rolling eyes
holding no interest,
challenge or danger
only an unsated desire
for some flame of fire,
a spark of hope,
a break in the tedium
waited for
but not coming
and after waiting interminably,
suddenly,
the sun dips low
and shadows grow
the day succumbs
and what dreams may come,
will be my salvation,
in the land of Ennui

2 comments » | Life, Uncategorized

Finding Rest – Rick Stephen

22
December

Finding Rest

I wonder if it is better
to die and have life cease
or to live, lifelessly,
without hope
to die ends all hope
but to live without hope
is much worse
and far more cruel
for in dying
there is rest from hope
but living without hope
this is not so
for to be human
is to have always
in the heart of hearts
the hope of hope,
the mere possibility
and so there is no rest
the hope of hope
is always there
teasing,
torturing
I understand now
why death
is euphemistically called
entering into eternal rest
I wonder which is better

2 comments » | By the Poetic Fool, Life

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