“Hot noon in the meadows. The buttercups
Swelter and melt, and the lovers
Pass by, pass by.
They are black and flat as shadows.
It is so beautiful to have no attachments!
I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss?
Shall I ever find it, whatever it is?”—Three Women, Sylvia Plath (via unkemptgirl)
When the moon appears and a few wind-stricken barns stand out in the low-domed hills and shine with a light that is veiled and dust-filled and that floats upon the fields, my mother, with her hair in a bun, her face in shadow, and the smoke from her cigarette coiling close to the faint yellow sheen of her dress, stands near the house and watches the seepage of late light down through the sedges, the last gray islands of cloud taken from view, and the wind ruffling the moon’s ash-colored coat on the black bay.
Soon the house, with its shades drawn closed, will send small carpets of lampglow into the haze and the bay will begin its loud heaving and the pines, frayed finials climbing the hill, will seem to graze the dim cinders of heaven. And my mother will stare into the starlanes, the endless tunnels of nothing, and as she gazes, under the hour’s spell, she will think how we yield each night to the soundless storms of decay that tear at the folding flesh, and she will not know why she is here or what she is prisoner of if not the conditions of love that brought her to this.
My mother will go indoors and the fields, the bare stones will drift in peace, small creatures — the mouse and the swift — will sleep at opposite ends of the house. Only the cricket will be up, repeating its one shrill note to the rotten boards of the porch, to the rusted screens, to the air, to the rimless dark, to the sea that keeps to itself. Why should my mother awake? The earth is not yet a garden about to be turned. The stars are not yet bells that ring at night for the lost. It is much too late.
To all I follow here on Tumblr, to all who follow me, to all who continually enrich me and teach me new things, exposing me to new writers, artists, words, ideas—I am extremely thankful for your presence, your camaraderie, and your dialogue here. I am honored to be among you in this utterly poetic world we have here between us.
“The weather is really exquisite. Today was perfection. Radiant, crystal clear, one of those days when the earth seems to pause, enchanted with its beauty, when every new leaf whispers: “am I not heavenly fair!” The sun is quite warm. It is tame again. It comes & curls up in your arms. Beautiful Life! In spite of everything one cannot but praise Life. I have been watching the peach tree outside my window from the very first moment, and now it is all in flowers and the leaves are come, small stiff clusters like linnets wings.”—Katherine Mansfield (via katherine-mansfield)
“You don’t know it, but I often wake up at night, I lie for a long time in the dark, and I listen to you sleeping next to me, as a dog does, on the shore of slow water from which shadows and reflections rise, silent butterflies. Last night you spoke in your sleep, almost whining, talking of a wall too high to climb down, towards the sea seen only by you, distant and gleaming. Playfully I whispered, Just calm down, it isn’t all that high, we could make it. You asked whether down below there was sand to land on, or black rock. Sand, I answered, sand. And in your dream maybe we dove together.”
— Fabio Pusterla, “Sand” (from the inaugural issue of Asymptote)
“I love a room that is a fortress and I love to work at night. To be free to get up and lean out of [the] window into that dark, airy stillness — is happiness. Dear Heaven! How little has been written about the extraordinary charm of NOT going to bed at night! Only to think of it and one passes into a whole strange world where to be awake is enough.”—Katherine Mansfield (via katherine-mansfield)
I depend on the sentence A stop that seeks form orderly and modest like everyday speech Everything in me awaits the moment when a shape encloses shapelessness where it was suspended I suffer gently but persistently the pain of uncertainty the dissolution of feelings and thoughts in which I live like in a diluted space
It doesn’t hinder me from admiring the linden branches spread wide behind the window a screech of a magpie annoying and blessed because it exists it doesn’t hinder me from taking in the heat of this dry and tragic summer But a sentence a reliable sentence restores under my feet the firm earth
“But I remember, I expect you do, too, walks, drives, walking over wet lawns and down dark garden paths, finding oneself on the wharf or the station at a quarter to two in the morning, exploring empty kitchens long after midnight, watching the light change while you lie on the divan smoking and listening - one could go on for ever. And thats all too trivial - I mean something more — which makes every breath one takes, as it were — an emotion.”—Katherine Mansfield (via katherine-mansfield)
“Woman, what’s your name?” ”I don’t know.” “How old are you? Where are you from?” ”I don’t know.” “Why did you dig that burrow?” ”I don’t know.” “How long have you been hiding?” ”I don’t know.” “Why did you bite my finger?” ”I don’t know.” “Don’t you know that we won’t hurt you?” ”I don’t know.” “Whose side are you on?” ”I don’t know.” “This is war, you’ve got to choose.” ”I don’t know.” “Does your village still exist?” ”I don’t know.” “Are those your children?” ”Yes.”
“To say what you want to say, you must create another language and nourish it for years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again.”—George Seferis (Geōrgios Seferiádē) (via apoetreflects)
“When I was excited about life, I didn’t want to write at all. I’ve never written when I was happy. I didn’t want to. But I’ve never had a long period of being happy, Do you think anyone has? I think you can be peaceful for a long time, When I think about it, if I had to choose, I’d rather be happy than write. You see, there’s very little invention in my books. What came first with most of them was the wish to get rid of this awful sadness that weighed me down . I found when I was a child that if I could put the hurt into words, it would go. It leaves a sort of melancholy behind and then it goes.”—Jean Rhys (via mermaidveins)
“Those who sailed at dawn
but will never return
left their trace on a wave—
a shell fell to the bottom of the sea
beautiful as lips turned to stone
those who walked on a sandy road
but could not reach the shuttered windows
though they already saw the roofs—
they have found shelter in a bell of air
but those who leave behind only
a room grown cold a few books
an empty inkwell white paper—
in truth they have not completely died
their whisper travels through thickets of wallpaper
their level head still lives in the ceiling
their paradise was made of air
of water lime and earth an angel of wind
will pulverize the body in its hand
they will be
carried over the meadows of this world”—Zbigniew Herbert, “A Ballad That We Do Not Perish” (via proustitute)
“And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.”—Mark Strand (via goodpoetry)
“Style is a very simple matter; it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can’t use the wrong words. But on the other hand here am I sitting after half the morning, crammed with ideas, and visions, and so on, and can’t dislodge them, for lack of the right rhythm. Now this is very profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than any words. A sight, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it.”—Virginia Woolf (via deadwriters)
SharingPoetry is a new Tumblr for sharing your favorite poems with others. These can be full poems, fragments of poems, interview pieces, videos of readings, etc.
Submit as many as you like—the goal at this stage in time is to have at least one poem per day published from as wide a variety of poets as possible. Share your favorite poems with others, follow SharingPoetry, and encounter new poets along the way.
Poetry is a very powerful tool of expression and communication, and part of the intent of SharingPoetry is to allow for these kinds of evolutions, immersions, dialogues, and learning experiences to take place on a continual basis. Poetry is also an extremely transformative medium; in the words of William Carlos Williams: “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
Please help to spread the word by reblogging this, following SharingPoetry, and also by contributing your own favorite poems.
She gazed back over the sea, at the island. But the leaf was losing its sharpness. It was very small; it was very distant. The sea was more important now than the shore. Waves were all round them, tossing and sinking, with a log wallowing down one wave; a gull riding on another. About here, she thought, dabbling her fingers in the water, a ship had sunk, and she murmured, dreamily, half asleep, how we perished, each alone.
On the fire escape of your rented room we sat and felt the empty city sweat and fret we passed a cigarette back and forth as once we passed words like these between us without hope of keeping Now I write without hope of answer to say that what we gave each other nakedly was too much and not enough to say that since we last touched I am not empty I hear you named and my heart starts the pieces of your voice you left are interleaved with mine and to this quick spark in the emptiness to say Yes I miss how love may make us otherwise
—Craig Arnold, from Conduit Literary Magazine, Issue 20, Summer 2009
In my dream I apologize to everyone I meet. Instead of introducing myself, I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. In real life, oddly enough, when I am fully awake and out and about, if I catch someone’s eye, I quickly look away. Perhaps this too is a form of apology. Perhaps this is the form apologies take in real life. In real life the looking away is the apology, despite the fact that when I look away I almost always feel guilty; I do not feel as if I have apologized. Instead I feel as if I have created a reason to apologize, I feel the guilt of having ignored that thing - the encounter. I could have nodded, I could have smiled without showing my teeth. In some small way I could have wordlessly said,I see you seeing me and I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. Afterwards, after I have looked away, I never feel as if I can say, Look, look at me again so that I can see you, so that I can acknowledge that I have seen you, so that I can see you and apologize.
Since when have you been loving books?
What are your top ten books?
What are your top ten writers?
Thanks in advance and good luck for your reading challenge.
I fell in love with books when I first learned how to read at the age of 4 or 5. I remember my parents reading to me every night and my room started to amass a large collection of books and that collection has only grown over the years.
My top ten books: 1. Ariel by Sylvia Plath 2. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 3. The Waves by Virginia Woolf 4. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 5. A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf 6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy 7. After Every War, edited by Eavan Boland 8. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald 9. The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield 10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
My top ten writers: 1. Sylvia Plath 2. Virginia Woolf 3. Cormac McCarthy 4. Katherine Mansfield 5. Emily Dickinson 6. Walt Whitman 7. Eudora Welty 8. Fred Chappell 9. Nelly Sachs 10. Rose Auslander
Both these lists are sure to change over time because I love evolving as a reader and discovering new books and writers. :) Thanks for mentioning the reading challenge. I’m doing well so far and hope to read a decent amount of books this year in between all the homework and stress generated by college!