Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool!

See how nutty a fool I am? I'm celebrating April 1 a day late (or so, depending on your time zone)! My plan was to post a poem a day during April, since folks seemed to dig that last year, but I'm traveling right now and my location last night had no internet connection. Tonight, I planned to do a little conference-blogging, but between my appearance in the middle of the country last night and my destination at this conference, there was some airplane trouble, and I'm being put up at a hotel in an unanticipated destination. April Fools' on me, yes?

Updates: in case you're wondering, I did write the Herbert paper for tomorrow's presentation on the plane tonight. I have one sentence left. I hope to write it on my replacement flight early tomorrow morning. It feels to me like it's stuck together with gum and hope, but I can deliver it with verve and that may look like authority. That's my big plan, anyway.

Two poems, then, today, to make up for the one I missed last night. Last year on the way to RSA at around this time, I read this first poem, and it colluded with my rough patch of life right then, and I started sobbing uncontrollably on the airplane, trying to smash my face into the window so that no one would notice. My seatmates didn't ask for a recitation. (FYI: The speaker is God.)



My great happiness
is the sound your voice makes
calling to me even in despair; my sorrow
that I cannot answer you
in speech you accept as mine.

You have no faith in your own language.
So you invest
authority in signs
you cannot read with any accuracy.

And yet your voice reaches me always.
And I answer constantly,
my anger passing
as winter passes. My tenderness
should be apparent to you
in the breeze of summer evening
and in the words that become
your own response.

--Louise Gluck

And here's yesterday's poem--just to be clear which one I consider to be "first."

"Feast of the Ascension, 2004. Planting Hibiscus"

From being to being an idea, nothing comes through that intact.
Look at the garden: dew-swooned and with fat blooms swollen,
With shade leaf-laced beneath the lemon trees —

It is hard to believe beauty is the new ugliness.
But it must be, why else would so many of my contemporaries mock it so?

I guess it is true what they say —
That once a man falls he never again puts faith in the ground
On which he walks.

Putting faith in the ground — , is that what I am doing?
Is that what these blooms have been trying to tell me?
Is that what all their swooning
Has been about?

The shade grows long. The shade grows long
Upon the lawns and the fat green leaves of these lemon trees
Are still in the early evening.

I could be buried here. That is,
I am — . I am buried.

--Jay Hopler


Ink said...

Yay for a poem a day! Very cool.

And good luck with your presentation--congrats on finishing the Herbert paper. You rock.

squadratomagico said...

I'm so glad Green Thoughts' poetry month is back! Yay! I was one of the many great admirers of this series last year!

Off to a great start -- I love them both.

Lisa B. said...

Gorgeous, both. Delighted to see them!

Stuck together with gum and hope is better than not stuck together at all, no? Cheers to verve-y delivery! Hope you'll be wearing awesome shoes.

Anonymous said...

Those are both beautiful. Particularly the first one ("Sunset").