Month: March 2016

WestWords Perfect Pair

 

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North Carolina today, it’s the birthplace of poet and writer Tony Hoagland, best known for poignant poems that comment on contemporary American life and culture. His collections include What Narcissism Means to Me, 2003 from which this poem comes.  I think it’s one of the most romantic contemporary love poems I’ve read in recent times.  It’s so ordinary, so simple so utterly heartbreaking.  But it’s about loving somebody, loving them wholly and completely, their flaws and fascinations. Both in life and in death, forever seeing what drew you to them in the first place.  This is:

 

WINDCHIME
By Tony Hoagland

She goes out to hang the wind chime
in her nightie and her work boots.

It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,
wind chime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.
She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the wind chime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

 

#WorldPoetryDay 2016!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Enjoy whatever you’re reading.

Ars Poetica

By Archibald MacLeish16704884223_292f83b1cd_m

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,
Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,
Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—
A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.
                         *
A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,
Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,
Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind—
A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.
                         *
A poem should be equal to:
Not true.
For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.
For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—
A poem should not mean
But be.

The Poetry & Music of Men

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Today we’re looking at the theme of Men so we’ll be doing man stuff like taking out the trash with Charles Bukowski, a bit of carpentry with Carl Denis and reading about the softer side of a man’s nature with Adam Waterhouse and Cecil Day-Lewis.  Music today comes from Leonard Cohen, Josh Ritter and Mark Knopfler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/75750266@N08/9030416059″>PEM-EBA-GP00251 Fire unge menn på Storgatbakken (?), Tromsø</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Token Paddy’s Day Post

There’s an art to going green …

Evie Gaughan

Feck it

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Daoibh!  It’s that time of year again when the Irish culture is both celebrated and bastardised the world over by well meaning ambassadors and not-so-well meaning drinks companies.  Contrary to popular belief, our national pastime isn’t drinking porter and it frustrates me that with every passing year, our day to shine in the world’s spotlight is sabotaged by leprechaun hats and a drink that was invented by a unionist and is now controlled by a British multinational drinks company.  And as the rivers run green and landmarks throughout the world are bathed in bright green lights, let us not forget that Saint Patrick was in fact, Welsh.  Thanks Wales.  Up to that point we were just a bunch of stoners honouring the moon and trees and stuff.  Good times.

Chicago River Turns Green

But I’m not going to spoil the party (much) with a long-winded rant.  I have…

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Honouring Women

24974393973_00efb80acd_m A grand old time!

There has been a lot of emphasis on women since the beginning of the year and more often than not, thankfully in a positive light. In Ireland anyway we’ve learned so much about the important roles played by women in the rising of 1916 and beyond, as the country struggled for independence. Studying history in school in the 1980’s however, we were led to believe it was a male only revolution but thankfully women are now getting the recognition they deserve. Women of all generations are flourishing in the arts, in politics and business and although it’s difficult to believe in 2016, we still have a long way to go to achieve the gender equality to which we are so rightly entitled.
Gender discrimination in terms of education, employment, pay, human rights etc., is ubiquitous, battles are hard-won in the West but women living in developing or dictatorial countries haven’t even been invited to the war.
In honour of International Women’s Day and in this Women In History Month, today’s show is all about the ladies. We’ll have poetry from Sharon Olds, Lucille Clifton and Radmila Lazic and music from Kate Bush, India Arie and Natasha Khan. We think of our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Neice’s all over the world fighting battles from the personal to the political; we think of women who broke the barriers, cleared the path and led the way from Sappho to Simone de Beauvoir, Harriet Beecher-Stowe to Benazir Bhutto, Mirabai to Malala Yousafzai. Warriors, nurturers, lovers and friends – we are every woman!