Poems and Pictures

Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2008 06:22 am

This is a beautiful poem; any father would be thrilled to have such a piece dedicated to him. I really like your combination of light, past and future. And, your poem makes the Lenny Kravitz verse come to life. Also, speaking of coming to life, the bride is one of the very few whom I would truly describe as "radiant." Brava, Aidan. Great positive synergy.
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2008 08:34 am
Miklos - I'll try again to respond to your lovely comments. I wrote this whole long essay (you know me) posted it and it DISAPPEARED! Oh well, such is life...here we go again.

Thanks for your comments...I wanted to do something positive here to leave a positive remembrance for myself when I got home last night. My dad's surgery was moved up and I was afraid yesterday might have ended with him gone. Fortunately it didn't - but if it had- I wanted to remind myself how I was feeling before I left yesterday...able to find peace in either eventuality.

I like the Fields of Joy song anyway - but in all my travels back and forth to NJ these past weeks, it's one I've been listening to. I like that it is a reminder of what my father and I have in common and have always connected on...nature and its positive and literally healing effect on certain souls. When you're one of six children and smack dab in the middle at that - it's hard to feel that you have something that ties you and you alone with one of your parents. Nature and gardening have always been our special connection.
My father loves flowers - which is really endearing in a guy such as him. He's this big, strong, take control, look you right in the eye kind of guy who loves and excelled at sports - but the perfect iris just melts him. Every time he came to visit me in North Carolina he would leave with a cutting of honeysuckle or wisteria...so that's how he and I'd spend a lot of our time together - walking around looking at nature.
When I was little he'd rent these cabins out in the woods and everyone else would grouch and complain and I'd just be in my idea of heaven. I'd get up at six in the morning and go down to the lake to fish with him -and get him all to myself. Those are some of my best memories of him.

But this song in relation to him - makes me smile- he's pretty much the antithesis of Lenny Kravitz. I think he'd be okay with the song until the guitar break and then he'd say- 'Turn that noise off'- so it's kind of my little joke to put that in for him. Although I do envision that for him and for myself when it's all over. And I don't care who says I'm delusional.
I had a dream ...

I love this picture of us together too. It seemed to fit the 'undefined' me in the poem - I look the same as I did when I was five years old- hopeful, expectant, and wide open. And that's a part of my personality I hope to always keep- no matter what pain it brings me.
I hope to always be open to what's good and wonderful in the world.
I wanted to remember my father as he is in this picture too. Someone who was big and strong and could take on the world, and be there for me as I took it on myself.

Thanks for the radiance comment. That's just me blushing - which I always do when I'm laughing. I don't even have to be embarrassed to blush. It's kind of a life-long affliction. In terms of me in this picture - I like the way my little hippy flower crown is slightly crooked. That is so telling of the whole wedding thing - I only cared about the music and the flowers and only slightly about the dress or anything else. My mother got SO FRUSTRATED with me.
I like that I was a little crooked and disheveled in this picture. That was the real me that day-'Okay- let's just get all this hooplah over with and get to the party (which was outside of course).

I think I'm going to work on expanding the poem - I'd like to put more in there about his childhood-I have some images in mind.

I'll talk to you later about it. Thanks, as always Miklos. It was nice to come home to YOUR positive energy here.
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Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 12:48 pm

A single clinging leaf
the color of grief and memories
years and love and nothing there
but what we knew
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Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 03:53 am
In Memory of W.B. Yeats
(By: W.H. Auden)


He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
The snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

Far from his illness
The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.

But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs,
The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers.

Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living.

But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.


You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
The parish of rich women, physical decay,
Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.


Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

[Auden later deleted the next three stanzas.]

Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and the innocent,
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,

Worships language and forgives
Everyone by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit,
Lays its honours at their feet.

Time that with this strange excuse
Pardoned Kipling and his views,
And will pardon Paul Claudel,
Pardons him for writing well.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice.

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress.

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

WH Auden
(This poem was written in the aftermath of WWII. It seems appropriate to me for these current times as well).
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 08:36 pm
A very good pairing. "The day of his death was a dark cold day" in several ways. A death of the connection to a genuine pastoral; the advent of WWII; the frost of a cold materialism; the rot of egotism unfettered. All of these--except the specific war--were predicted, and in some cases lived, by Yeats. But they didn't really take over the world until he was gone. A very sad poem, until the call for rebirth at the end. Spring coming to all who are willing to try.
Reply Fri 27 Feb, 2009 05:23 am
This is one of my favorites by Auden. I love the language - the weight of the words he uses- the juxtaposition between images connoting the mechanical and natural worlds-life and death-futility and hope.

I've been home with a cold - I think I've turned the corner, but still home as I don't want to spread germs and make anyone else sick.
So I've been reading a lot of stuff I haven't had time to read in a while. I'm working on a project I think I told you about - finding literary snippets to go with my pictures. This was one I put together.

I'm glad you found them complementary, and thanks for your comment.
I wish I could sit in one of your seminars.
Anyway, that picture made me think of that poem, almost immediately.
Reply Tue 19 May, 2009 01:56 pm
This place is
now and here and everywhere I've ever been
My birth and life and death housed
in these stones.
no words but I know
you'll hear what I don't say
it means everything and nothing
yesterday, tomorrow, and today.

Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 03:47 pm
If I had another child I'd name her March
and watch as her feet rose and fell purposefully
each day
I'd hear the wind and new life in her name
and see branches black and bare changing
She'd be nothing known and everything possible
I would picture blue sky in her arms.

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Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 03:54 pm
I see you in the sky above
I hear you in the birds' song
I feel you in my heart's search for love
I know you're right and never wrong
I need you like I need air
I hear you in my song's tones
Come back to me and give me peace
You will always be my soul's home.
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2019 03:56 pm
Missing for a decade and you're not getting us up to date?
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2019 09:47 am
I've been on here now and then playing the acronym game but it has been a busy decade. Both my mother and father died and I moved back to the US because before my mother died (after my father did) she got dementia and I didn't want to live so far away from her and have her forget me. I wrote this poem about both of them because they were two extremely wonderful gifts in my life and I miss them every day. I do see and feel them in all the beautiful nature around me though.
Hope you've been doing well roger!
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Reply Fri 30 Aug, 2019 02:41 am
That's lovely!
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