Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April - poetry month (and Spring)


For me a poem
is worked soil
turned and watered
a thousand times over
green profusions pruned
with blunt tools
strangling weeds uprooted
dug out stones cast aside
on a growing pile
sweaty body bending
as praying bodies must
that draw closer to their source
sifting pale fingers squirming
through black earth till
my stiff spine
refuses to straighten up again.

Amid the struggle questions occur:
Does the perfect poem radiate
like a garden in bloom
multi-coloured bands expanding
outward forever?
Or does it zero in
on a single symmetrical flower
a golden bull’s-eye word
the unpronounceable Name
as succinct, precise and encompassing
as the well-aimed arrow-point
embedded in silence?

And how can a tired man
awaken from his cramped cage of bones
to yawn and stretch
at the long, sun-circled day
as it reaches its perfect
unheralded conclusion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passover reading

It is that time of year again - to recycle old chessnuts because things are just too damn stressful around the house to come up with anything new. So here is a post from last year that is sure to become a classic Blood on the family doorpost, and a new gem from the incomparable Reb Woody Allen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Richard Ford explains himself, sort of.

This is why I love Richard Ford's novels. (Thanks Mark)

Impeccably crafted lines like this about his protagonist Frank Bascombe: And I can certainly imagine that a millennial standard-bearer might be worth having; a sort of generalisable, meditative, desk-top embodiment of our otherwise unapplauded selves - one who's not so accurately drawn as to cause discomfort, but still recognisable enough to make us feel a bit more visible to ourselves and possibly re-certify us as persuasive characters in our own daily dramas.

He certainly says it better than I did.