Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NaPoWriMo - day twenty eight


gathering

and so we sit and speak of poetry

sipping sherry and innis & gunn

we take turns to read various scribblings

talk about intention and attention

speak of wounds and hope and struggle

opine about the uses of poetry

we live here in this shared language

or the desire for shared language

the rhythm of words and how they connect

words to words and poets to poets

spirits and bodies and hearts

poetry is a way of saying things

you cannot say in any other way

one of us says, and we all agree

with friends only it is possible to be this direct

with friends only is it possible to be this hopeful

perhaps we are even romantic

these lovers of words are my friends

The Introduction by Billy Collins - NPM28

I don’t think this next poem
needs any introduction-
it’s best to let the work speak for itself.

Maybe I should just mention
that whenever I use the word five,
I’m referring to that group of Russian composers
who came to be known as “The Five,”
Balakirev, Moussorgsky, Borodin–-that crowd.

Oh--and Hypsicles was a Greek astronomer.
He did something with the circle.

That’s about it, but for the record,
“Grimk√©” is Angelina Emily Grimk√©, the abolitionist.
“Imroz” is that little island near the Dardanelles.
‘Monad”--well, you all know what a monad is.

There could be a little problem
with mastaba, which is one of those Egyptian
above-ground sepulchers, sort of brick and limestone.

And you’re all familiar with helminthology?
It’s the science of worms.

Oh, and you will recall that Phoebe Mozee
is the real name of Annie Oakley.

Other than that, everything should be obvious.
Wagga Wagga is in New South Wales.
Rhyolite is that soft volcanic rock.
What else?
Yes, meranti is a type of timber, in tropical Asia I think,
and Rahway is just Rahway, New Jersey.

The rest of the poem should be clear.
I’ll just read it and let it speak for itself.

It’s about the time I went picking wild strawberries.

It’s called “Picking Wild Strawberries.”


Collins, Billy "The Introduction" The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 2005. 61-2.