Poems that pursue the horizon from past to present and poems created for NaPoWriMo 2017
|It is marvelous to wake up together
At the same minute; marvelous to hear
The rain begin suddenly all over the roof,
To feel the air suddenly clear
As if electricity had passed through it
From a black mesh of wires in the sky.
All over the roof the rain hisses,
And below, the light falling of kisses.
An electrical storm is coming or moving away;
It is the prickling air that wakes us up.
If lightning struck the house now, it would run
From the four blue china balls on top
Down the roof and down the rods all around us,
And we imagine dreamily
How the whole house caught in a bird-cage of lightning
Would be quite delightful rather than frightening;
And from the same simplified point of view
Of night and lying flat on one's back
All things might change equally easily,
Since always to warn us there must be these black
Electrical wires dangling. Without surprise
The world might change to something quite different,
As the air changes or the lightning comes without our blinking,
Change as our kisses are changing without our thinking.
Elizabeth Bishop [1911-1979]
From: POEMS by Elizabeth Bishop, 2011, pg. 283. Copyright 1941-46 (Vassar 75.2); published in Edgar Allen Poe & The Juke Box.
The sense of the world is short -
Long and various the report, -
To love and beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft sore they've turned it,
Tis not to be improved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-1882]
From: The Home Book of Verse by Burton Egbert Stevenson, 1917, pg. 474
Love, poems about love, ah yes! Poems that evoke memories, maybe make us wonder and blush a little. Love poems describe ordinary experiences in extraordinary language or circumstance or encounter. Whatever the approach, romantic love poems get us to pause a little, to reminisce or dream, to enjoy that moment "between the dark and the daylight…known as the adult's hour" (apologies to Longfellow). I chose both of these love poems to share together as they are about ordinary love and love's dream.
In Bishop's poem, she uses the metaphor of electricity skillfully throughout the poem as a double entendre for the spark of love between a couple. I rather like this poem and enjoyed reading it and recalling those lazy morning waking moments - with or without an external thunderstorm!
Elizabeth Bishop is a contemporary American poet from that literary stronghold in New England, Massachusetts. This poem comes from her original document and notes suggest that it was only published twice. She was a graduate of Vassar in New York and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1956 for a collection of her poetry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is another Massachusetts poet preceding Elizabeth Bishop by nine decades but an exceptional poet, essayist and philosopher. His first published book was titled "Nature" and encompassed his view on Transcendentalism, a belief that everything is a microcosm of the universe. Emerson studied at Harvard, was a teacher and a pastor for awhile. He later wrote poetic prose and essays.
Emerson's poem EROS is an almost satirical poke at the concept of love with a pragmatism that suggests his philosophical leaning. It gave me a little chuckle and I rather liked the contrast with Bishop's poem.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.~~Robert Frost