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Category: Pamela Spiro Wagner

XLll. “My future will not copy fair my past” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

XLll. My future will not copy fair my past

“My future will not copy fair my past”
I wrote that once; and thinking at my side
My ministering life-angel justified
The word by his appealing look upcast
To the white throne of God, I turned at last,
And there, instead, saw thee, not unallied
To angels in thy soul! Then I, long tried
By natural ills, received the comfort fast,
While budding, at thy sight, my pilgrim’s staff
Gave out green leaves with morning dews impearled.
I seek no copy now of life’s first half:
Leave here the pages with long musing curled,
And write me new my future’s epigraph,
New angel mine, unhoped for in the world!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

_________________________

“You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I will try
to get the hang of it!“

because there was no return address
on this comment, and because its
uncorroborated website, a gaming site,
seemed to me suspect, I’ve chosen to
reply within the safer body of my
discussion, rather than within the
thickets and brambles of the more
treacherous Internet

but I profoundly respect the, not at all
uncommon, opinion

therefore this

Elizabeth Barrett Browning is not
immediately accesible to us in the
early 21st Century, this comment is
such an example, unsolicited but
honest, and it is the cry of the
uninitiated through no fault of their
own before time’s obfuscating,
even linguistic, even literary, but
ever ineffable, shroud, I had the
same sense of its, often, preciosity
when I first started reading poetry,
not only even but especially the
greats who’d been recommended,
it took a poet who spoke my
language before I could take
verse seriously

but since then it has become for
me a garden of existential, of
transcendental, delights,
revelations I can’t help but want
to share, not only substantial
stuff, but, I think, sacred

no one has said it better to date
than Pamela Spiro Wagner in
How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s
Manual

“Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun“

even a daffodil like Elizabeth
Barrett Browning

Elizabeth is a siren here, I asked of heaven,
she says, “My future will not copy fair my
past”,
and along comes, goodness, a
miracle in the form of, more or less, an
angel – “not unallied / To angels in thy
soul”,
she describes him in her particular
Victorian dialect, not always immediately
penetrable

she was so happy then, she grew ”green
leaves”,
she asserts, evidently exaggerating,
“with”, even, “morning dews impearled”,
she further enthusiastically confides, but
of which we won’t out of discretion, of
course, inquire

let’s just say she will hitch her wagon
therefore to his, [n]ew angel mine”, star,
for the foreseeable, however “unhoped
for”
, future

which man could resist being called “not
unallied / To angels“,
Elizabeth, seductress,
enchantress, I call my man Apollo, my
golden god of light

Richard

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how to read poems – Maiurro, Spiro Wagner

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner has been a model
of effective, which is to say inspiring, poetry
for me for a long while, calling out as it does
pretentiousness around verse, and having
verse mean something, something you can
understand and relate to, in a way that is
potent and beautiful, resonant, ever tolling,
extolling, stirring profoundly, like a
conscience, or an echo

but here is another voice that will not let you
pass it by, Brice Maiurro, and in more than
just one poem, How to Read My Poems
is a good place, however, to start

check out also his significant others

this man is incontrovertibly a poet, the very
voice of a generation, I believe, Brice Maiurro
is what presently, I think, is happening

a cardinal rule for me of aeshtetic consideration
is ever to juxtapose, be it art, music, poems –
these are all essentially conversations among
acolytes – in order to be able to consider
differences, it is in the interstices that the artist
flourishes, the personal, and telling, touches,
their foundational stories most often remain
the same

How to Read My Poems and How to Read
a Poem: Beginner’s Manual
are both equally
powerful exhortations, each resounding mightily
above the generally less compelling fray, read
them and listen to what they’re saying, they
are messengers, oracles, of nothing less than
harmony and compassion, better known
together as grace

Richard

________________________

How to Read My Poems

slink up
behind them
in the stale of
night
with a baseball bat
with nails
sticking out of the end
and bash them in the
head
like a zombie
terrorizing your childhood
home.

do not listen
to their
bullshit.

bitch back.

stomp
on their
toes.

poison
their drinking
water.

let the fucking
curse words shout
at their
stupid
fucking
faces like
unintentional spitwads

but don’t
talk
behind their backs.

my poems
keep their friends close,
but their enemies
even
closer

Brice Maiurro

____________________________

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don’t even notice,
close this manual.

Congratulations.
You can now read poetry

Pamela Spiro Wagner

How to Listen to Classical Music: Beginner’s Manual

 
How to Listen to Classical Music: Beginner’s Manual    
 
                                     (after Pamela Spiro Wagner
 
            First, forget everything you have learned,
            that Classical Music is difficult,
            that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
            with your high school equivalency diploma,
            your steel-tipped boots,
            or your white-collar misunderstandings.    
 
            Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
            the best Classical Music means what it says and says it.
 
            To listen to Classical Music requires only courage
            enough to leap from the edge
            and trust.
 
            Treat Classical Music like dirt,
            humus rich and heavy from the garden.
            Later it will become the fat tomatoes
            and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.
 
            Classical Music demands surrender,
            language saying what is true,
            doing holy things to the ordinary.

            Listen to just one Classical work a day.

            Someday an irresistible composition may open in your heart
            like a daffodil offering its cup
            to the sun.
 
            When you can identify the Mozart fantasia 
            among the four of his sonatas I’ve included here in this gentle message,
            close this manual.
 
            Congratulations.
            You are now hearing 
            as opposed to listening to Classical Music 
 
 
Richard 
 
 
 
 

sowing poems

since April, National Poetry Month, and a flurry of commemorative throughout poems, one at least a day sent out by a dutiful and diligent moderator, I’ve carried in my pocket at her inspired, I think, suggestion not one but two poems, one per side per page, to scatter indiscriminately as raindrops, it was recommended, anywhere

I cannot help but think that these inadvertent seeds will somehow somewhere flower

they needed to be accessible, I thought, not trite, distinct enough as well to be quickly unforgettable, by definition nearly therefore profound

one described a poet finding intimations of perfection in the song of a nearby thrush, thereby inspiration and an instant recuperative salve

the other takes you into the heart of any poem

both to my mind are brilliant

I’ve been leaving them in restaurants beside my less august of course tip 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Richard

                 __________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Poet with His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need any more of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
 

                                     Mary Oliver

          _______________________________

 

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
      and don’t even notice,
      close this manual.
 

                      Pamela Spiro Wagner
 

     

       _____________________________