Howdy. I saw a tornado of cottonwood on my deck today. It’s that time of year. The lawn is edged in white.
The news of the world and my country’s official take on those news events have left me without adequate words.
Fortunately a Facebook friend named Bob Dixon-Kolar made a couple posts that caught my attention this week. One is this passage by John Donne, which is taken from Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions. Donne wrote it in prose in 1624, but over time it has been morphed into a poem.
No Man is an Island
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
The second of his posts was the poem “A Blessing” by James Wright. It is not in the public domain so here’s the link. It’s a beautiful poem. Oh to write a poem half as satisfying.
If I did I would submit it to Rattle, which is holding a contest with a $10,000 prize. Interested? Here’s the link.
Also, there’s a call for submissions at Subprimal Poetry Art; here’s the link.
You may also want to look at the Highland Park Poetry page – there’s a call for submissions there too. It’s for ekphrastic poems on the public art in that village.
I also came across the poem “It Is Later Than You Think” by Robert W. Service and this poem, which relates a writer’s woes, hit a nerve. It’s a long poem so I will leave you with the first and last stanzas.
The first stanza:
Lone amid the café’s cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
There’s the wretched rent to pay,
Yet I glower at pen and ink:
Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray,
It is later than you think!
And here’s the last stanza:
Lastly, you who read; aye, you
Who this very line may scan:
Think of all you planned to do …
Have you done the best you can?
See! the tavern lights are low;
Black’s the night, and how you shrink!
God! and is it time to go?
Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think;
Sadly later than you think;
Far, far later than you think.
So I guess I should get to it! Also, thanks to Bob Dixon-Kolar for such thoughtful posts.
Peace, love, and solace
P.S. Chicago people, this upcoming weekend is Printer’s Row Lit Fest; here’s a link to the schedule of activities.