Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec issue of The Sun -- and 12/2 discussion

4 poems by John Donne to contrast with
Elizabeth Bishop -- Casabianca
A new one published by linebreak: Kimberly Grey: Modern Sentences

How perfect that the December issue of The Sun starts with Kim Rosen on becoming the disciple of a poem -- learning it by heart, not to use our left brain to analyze it, but to allow our right brain to celebrate the "ineffable, the emotional, the relational" -- dressed up in the costume of the left brain -- i.e. words. "Learning a poem by heart is... a mutual relationship in which you let yourself be changed and healed. What the Tibetans used to call, "writing on the bones".

The Greeks believed speaking poetry raises the vibration of the physical body to ease the passage into the higher vibration of spirit.

It is as if the selection today were perfectly intended: Donne, combines R and L Brain; Bishop's parody of a popular poem memorized by school children for almost a century so as not to lose its emotional strength, has it's own strength; and a modern poem which imitates "web-thinking" and the great concern
...But how do we
keep from moving forward too
quickly and what do we do
with all the preciousness and time-
lessness and sadness? Even history
can't keep us. We keep inventing
newfangled ways to be in the world.

We are living in a country where people have forgotten to think in metaphor -- and with loss of metaphor, Rosen says, comes lack of imagination, ritual, mystery and discovery.

JFK in his Eulogy of Robert Frost
"When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

Love Dogs... Rumi -
The boy memorizing changed Coleman Barks' translation : he grief from which you cry --
vs. the grief you cry out from... the first version is predictable, the second is "a wonderful mess, falling over itself and open-ended."

The article also cited The songs of the Masaii and the Oliver poem, "The Journey"
Naomi Shihab Nye and Kindness --(Before you know what kindness really is / you must lose things.) to be in kinship -- how kindness flows into us and out of us.
See how a poem stretches the rhythms of your breathing, pulse, voice -- let that poem show you that you don't end here, you're so much bigger. Because if we speak only our own words, there is a possibility that our unhealthy or worn out patterns will prevail. If we take in the words of somebody else, they might shake up our own patterns. Others' words rattle the "glass bottles of our own ego" as CH Lawrence says in his poem "Escape" --


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