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“Quotidian Poem”

by Patricia Fargnoli


When I heard the bombing

had begun I drove down

to Keene and bought

a 3x magnifying glass,

a sketch book

and drawing pencils. Then,

I went out behind the apartments

to snap off seed pods, weeds

I could not name

and a couple of brittle leaves.

I saved the afternoon

by studying edges

of petals, seeds,

the marvelous veins

and sketching them.

On the page, I wrote:

unknown weeds 10/7/01, found

in the patch between Applewood

and the Historical Museum;

on the day we began bombing.

Then I made a pot of soup

out of black-eyed peas

and a ham bone

I’d frozen from Easter.

I threw in onions, garlic,

parsley, cumin,

a couple of tomatoes–

whatever made sense.

Enough for an army.


A bit of a cheerier one for Jenners

The Daffodils
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

For an added laugh, watch this after reading it:

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

April is America’s National Poetry Month.  I have a lot of favorite poems that I could share with you, but I decided to look around for something new, something fresh, someone who is still alive and deserves recognition.  I personally believe that some poems should be heard.  So, I entreat you to go listen to this one by Jennifer K. Sweeney.  If you can’t or would rather not, read it here.  Tell me what you think.

How to Uproot a Tree
Stupidity helps.
Naiveté that your hands will undo
what does perfectly without you.
My husband and I made the decision
not to stop until the task was done,
the small anemic tree made room
for something prettier.
We’d pulled before, pale hand over wide hand,
a marriage of pulling toward us what we wanted,
pushing away what we did not.
We had a shovel which was mostly for show.
It was mostly our fingers tunneling the dirt
toward a tangle of false beginnings.
The roots were branched and bearded,
some had spurs
and one of them was wholly reptilian.
They had been where we had not
and held a knit gravity
that was not in their will to let go.
We bent the trunk to the ground and sat on it,
twisted from all angles.
How like ropes it was,
the sickly thing asserting its will
only now at the end,
blind but beyond
the idea of leaving the earth.