Day 30: The Last Day
“Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there’s a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world. And I’d like a world, wouldn’t you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I’m certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don’t think there could ever be too many poets. By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say ‘We loved the earth but could not stay.’”
― Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets
from POETRYisEVERYTHING (abbreviated):
THE PROMPT for Wednesday April 30th, 2014
Prompt 30 – Something old, something borrowed, something blue — Our poem will be 8 to 12 lines. Every other line (lines 2, 4, 6 and 8 and possibly 10 and 12) will be brand new lines that you write. One or more of these lines will include something blue.
For lines 1, 3, 5, 7, and possibly, 9 and 11 use lines from two to three of the poems you have written in the last 30 days.
This is what I came up with (tinkered with it a little, losing the 2, 4, etc. organization):
Emma, Playing the Guitar
As a child I fell in love with words, pleats
and plaits, with words like implicate
which means braided into. Words
unfurling, an ocean that my streams ran to,
or out of, like my parents’ shelves of books,
my logger father reading aloud Emily Dickinson and Rudyard Kipling.
Tonight my youngest daughter practices her guitar,
in love with music, making me listen to a blue e-minor chord,
trellises of music like trellises of wisteria,
a wicker chair under a skylight, a scent
of gardenias and lilacs, the heavy bees thrumming.
Bout, fret, strings, saddle and bridge, soundhole, neck.
And her name, a word I’ve counted on
to make the world make sense.
“a wicker chair under the skylight” was very arresting to me the first time, so it hit me again here as well. Surely yesterday’s poem is done? I just love it.
Janet — Emma is always lobbying for us to move house — not that we will, but in her best friend’s neighborhood there is a house with a little, windowed front room and there’s a wicker settee there. I drive by it and imagine myself sitting there, reading and writing. Thank you so much for reading along with me this month. Bethany
It was great! (Cheered me up through a terrible flare.) Thanks for explaining the wicker chair under a skylight. It really is an arresting image.
Wow–love this one especially, Bethany.