April 03, 2005

Poetry Month!

Roxanne reminds me that April is National Poetry Month. Well, very good. This blog, oddly enough, started out as a literary blog, with a bunch of fiction reviews and some jotted-down notes on contemporary authors. But since I started working at Mother Jones last June, I figured I needed to learn, uh, a bit about actual politics and world affairs and such, and so I began using this site pretty much exclusively towards that end. And now that it's developed at least a modest readership for the political focus, I suppose it would be awfully churlish of me to change course and start doing literary stuff again.

But all the same, poetry month is poetry month, and since I do have more than a few of these things bouncing around inside my head, I'll post one of my favorites today—"Praise for an Urn" by Hart Crane—and then call it an April, barring some popular clamor for more.

"Praise for an Urn"

It was a kind and northern face
That mingled in such exile guise
The everlasting eyes of Pierrot
And, of Gargantua the laughter.

His thoughts, delivered to me
From the wite coverlet and pillow,
I see now, were inheritances—
Delicate riders of the storm.

The slant moon on the slanting hill
Once moved us toward presentiments
Of what the dead keep, living still,
And such assessments of the soul

As, perched in the crematory lobby,
The insistent clock commented on,
Touching as well upon our praise
Of glories proper to the time.

Still, having in mid gold hair,
I cannot see that broken brow
And miss the dry sound of bees
Stretching across a lucid space.

Scatter these well-meant idioms
Into the smoky spring that fills,
The suburbs, where they will be lost.
They are no trophies of the sun.
Continue reading "Poetry Month!"...
-- Brad Plumer 4:48 PM || ||