Saturday, April 11, 2009

April is National Poetry Month

Another April, another National Poetry Month when I get an email every day from Knopf with a poem and some additional info, maybe another poem or two. I've meant to add poems to this blog and have been thinking of other things. So today two Japanese poems and one fragment. Fragment first, the last section of Wallace Stevens'"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird
sat in the cedar-limbs.

From Dogen's "Poems on the Treasury of the Clear Seeing Eye"

In midnight water,
no wave, no wind,
the empty boat
is flooded with moonlight.

And by Li Po, "I Make My Home in the Mountains"

You ask why I live in the mountain forest,
and I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet;
it lives in the other world
which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom,
The water flows.

I am reading a book of essays by Jane Hirshfield [from 1997] called Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry. I'm sure she chose to say "poetry" and not "the poet" although I believe she enters the mind of both. It is very insightful and enlightening, perfect to read this month. It is one of my many serendipitous finds at the Housing Works Thrift Store, apparently once read with occasional little check marks in the margin but no commentary and in pristine condition as if it hadn't been read. For so much satisfaction I paid $3.00 I often find that books come into my hands or to my attention just at the right time.

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