Reading While Knitting

Nothing complicated; nothing too exciting, but yes, I do knit while I read. As well as during many other domestic activities.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

I was going to post the saga of Sven's slipper sock today, but Grace invited the knit blogging world to this event, and I have just the piece. I wonder if anyone else will pick this particular poem?

But first, a digression: I grew up being "all about" literature (that's lit-ra-chur, not just "books I like"). I studied it, I devoured it, I wrote tedious papers about it. All that said? It was all about novels. Poetry, not so much. In fact, in my first high-level poetry class, all I could figure to write about the assigned work was how little I understood it. I ended up getting an A, so that may tell you something about the state of higher education. Or not.

At any rate, every once in a while, a poem sneaks under my defenses and hits me square between the eyes. Maybe it's a famous poem, although being a poem-phobe, I wouldn't know it, maybe it's not. This one does it for me. Still. Every time.

The Rain Stick for Beth and Rand

Up-end the rain stick and what happens next
Is a music that you never would have known
To listen for. In a cactus stalk

Downpour, sluice-rush, spillage and backwash
Come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
Being played by water, you shake it again lightly

And diminuendo runs through all its scales
Like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
A sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,

Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
Then glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
Up-end the stick again. What happens next

Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, a thousand times before.
Who cares if all the music that transpires

Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.

Seamus Heaney



At 10:17 AM, Blogger sewingsuzee said...

Great stuff, from a guy named Seamus. :-)

I grow to like poetry, little by little. I used to hate it. Having a poetic daughter probably helps.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger String Bean said...

I have always loved rainsticks. I remember I made one in fifth grade art class out of cardboard, paper-mache, and rice. It was lovely and I annoyed my whole family with its shush-shush-slide sounds.

Lovely poem. I especially like the last line: '...through the ear of a raindrop." *little chuckle* Raindrop ears.

I write poetry myself, but I don't think I could ever share it or have it published. It's too personal, not in a "horrible little secret" way, but it's a part of me on a page. Who knows, maybe one day I'll post one of my poems on my blog. Wait and see...


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