Welcome, all, to your March 10th-not-yet-15th Poetry Roundup. I'm here first to share some poetry history with a few selections that may be considered the Odes of March, and then to share a couple of my own before you share your offerings for today. Let's get jigging!
|How bragly it beginnes to budde,|
|And utter his tender head?||15|
|Flora now calleth forth eche flower,|
|And bids make ready Maias bowre,|
|That newe is upryst from bedde.|
|Tho shall we sporten in delight,|
|And learne with Lettice to wexe light,|
Yet winter seems half weary of its toil
And round the ploughman on the elting soil
Will thread a minutes sunshine wild and warm
Thro the raggd places of the swimming storm
Victorian: Algernon Charles Swinburne
Fain, fain would we see but again for an hour what the wind and the sun have dispelled and consumed,
How glad I am—
I hoped for you before—
Put down your Hat—
You must have walked—
How out of Breath you are—
Turn-of-the-Century: Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Severe of face, gaunt-armed, and wildly dressed,
She is not fair nor beautiful to see.
But merry April and sweet smiling May
Come not till March has first prepared the way.
whistles far and wee
The moon is naked.
The wind has undressed the moon.
The wind has blown all the cloud-garments
Off the body of the moon
And now she’s naked,
Because of this
the ground, that winter nightmare,
has cured its sores and burst
with green birds and vitamins.
21st Century: Catherine Pond
Sometimes the medicine works
and sometimes it doesn’t. The fact remains
that it’s warmer than ever: 76 degrees today
in Central Park. A silver maple burns beneath
the bridge. A sailboat comes apart in the pond.
And now, a couple of odes to March 11, because my birthday gift to myself is hosting you all here at my juicy little universe.
10,000 miles from Fukushima
On my birthday this year I turn
into an ostrich
take a shallow breath and bury my head
in a desert of pixelated particles.
Am I the pivotal generation,
the last of the predigital baby boom
weaned on Sesame Street and Electric Company
Zoom Z-double O-M slipping into the future?
Do I regret my thrill and amazement that in one office
of the university I typed on carbon sets
while in the science library I clicked a key,
ejected research papers from a hulking printer?
Do I regret the newborn internet, how
electronic mail let me cross generations,
3000 miles and an ocean to explain “bisexual”
to my father sheltered from proximal storms of hurt?
I thought these things were like cassette tapes,
microwave ovens and MTV: tool-using humans
applying their powerful brains to create
simple solutions for better living.
If I had known what we would become, what
my children would become, I would have said no
to these harmless, genius tools–no to the cell phone
and the laptop, no to the internet and to Facebook.
A hole is to dig, and I want to go into the field
with you, my children, and you, my child.
I want to use my hands, my muscles, my fingernails
like tools, like humans, to dig a hole
that I can bury us in together, just for a while,
while the scandals and the earthquakes
and the tsunamis and the secret maneuvering
make us forget that from that dirt
seeds will sprout and bulbs will burst,
fission at the nuclear level, a splitting of
unearthing us 3D and breathtaking again.
The Green Sofa of Ezra Jack Keats (born 3.11.1916)
is where I sat every Wednesday night for weeks, writing, in
a tiny apartment not far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
where Claudia and Jamie slept on the canopied 16th century bed,
which was not far from the brownstone on East 87th Street
where Harriet had cake and milk, milk and cake every afternoon.
I didn’t know in 1986 that it was the green sofa of Ezra Jack Keats.
I did not realize he had only just left us, and left the green sofa
to this young family friend, a writer. I settled into that green sofa
of Ezra Jack Keats, into a colored collage that dizzied, did not need
to pin everything down, showed me not cool consumption
but cozy creation, how I might go beyond black and white
with a narrow red stripe, how I need not grow up according
to the Plan but might run away alone like Sam Gribley
carrying the contents of the New York Public Library in my head,
to a place of my own making, like Peter on the sidewalk with
all his most important things, a picture of me as a baby.
Add your link below, and thanks for Marching with me all these years!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
From Amy LV (thank you, my friend!) Happy Happy Birthday, Dear Heidi! It is so kind of you to host us with this generosity and this timeline. I enjoyed the whole journey and love your two poems. I would like very much to join you with my shovel and rake and to spend time in the hole with you and ours. But first, please, may we sit on the green sofa together? "Cozy creation" is indeed what you bring to the world. Cheers! xo, a.ReplyDelete
What a fun rollicking post Heidi! I love the array of "Odes" and your poem is terrific, and I definitely will be out there soon digging some holes and getting my hands all covered in lovely squishy spring soil! Thanks for hosting us, and Many Happy Returns of the Day! 🎉 🌸 🐝ReplyDelete
Love this collection, Heidi - especially those two of yours! If that green sofa could talk, eh?ReplyDelete
Heidi, thank you for presenting an Ode Chronology. They have survived, thrived and transmogrified over the centuries, They fortunately remain strong. Your post ends with such style and strength. Your odes are awesome. Power packed words and images. The first ode harkens back to a pre-digital existence.An ode to simplicity perhaps...Ezra Jack Keats couch?- your words here remind me of Pablo Neruda. All hail the ode!ReplyDelete
So much March goodness here! :D And, oh, the treasured time on that green sofa!ReplyDelete
I love the 'gathering' for March, all though the years, they paid attention, didn't they? I also enjoyed your own reflections. "If I had known" Thanks for hosting & Happy Birthday!ReplyDelete
Thank you for these Odes as we March into spring, Heidi! I love your Ode to the Green Couch of EJK, but this line from 3.11.11 - 10,000 miles from Fukushima, " to dig a hole that I can bury us in together, just for a while..." resonates. I hold out hope for things being "unearthed and breathtaking again" some day...ReplyDelete
Happy birthday and thank you for hosting! :)
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for sharing your special time with us. I do love the 'Odes of March' theme. For me, Emily Dickinson will always beat a favorite on any subject...but the way she talks to March is fabulous. That line, 'I want to dig in the dirt with my hands ... like a human' Oh, my so good. That urge to protect explained so artfully. Thank you for hosting and I'm wishing you lots and lots of poems for your birthday!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday, Heidi! I enjoyed the walk through history with all the odes to March. e e cummings has always been a favorite of mine. Your poems are both so expressive, and I can't help wondering and thinking about that green couch!ReplyDelete
Happy birthday! And I love your ode (and the others you shared--the Langston Hughes one is lovely).ReplyDelete
Dear Heidi, how like you to give us a gift on your birthday. Thank you! Your poems are rich and layered and full of imaginative leaps...love! And is there any better word than "mudlucious"?? xoReplyDelete
I am "sporten in delight" about your birthday, Heidi! What you say about "how I need not grow up according / to the Plan" plays nicely with Swineburne "For the breath of thy lips is freedom, and freedom's the sense of thy spirit, the sound of thy song." Thanks for hosting!ReplyDelete
Hi, everyone! If you try to click through to my blog you will see a message that it has been removed. Eeek! It is locked for "violating community guidelines" and I have no idea what's happening. I've requested a review of the supposed violation but right now I'm just feeling sick about losing 17 years worth of blogging. :( Has this ever happened to anyone else? Just wanted you to know why you can't see my post today. Ugh.ReplyDelete
Blogger just reviewed their lock and reinstated my blog. Whew! I can stop feeling sick to my stomach. :DReplyDelete
I am soooooo relieved for you, Karen!Delete
Thank you! Me too. :DDelete
Happy birthday from another "carbon paper to internet" teacher/writer/blogger!ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the March goodness this week. LOVE your collection of odes and your two poems. What a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday! I'll be thinking about that green sofa all day . . . and thanks for hosting!!! ~ JamaReplyDelete
Heidi, wow. What a fun post! I love all the Odes of March you collected, as well as the two you wrote. That first one is so powerful and true. I wonder about that too. I feel privileged to have been able to experience life in the predigital universe and now, but as your poem suggests, I am worried for my grandchild, and all those born now. Hopefully parents will be saying no more and more to find a balance. Strong feelings this morning about your post. Have a blessed birthday, dear Heidi!ReplyDelete
I love this post! So much here. Your two poems were so evocative to me, the "if I had known what we would become stanza" and the digging taking place at the end to bury us for a while. And I got to learn about Sam Gribley in your second poem, a character I didn't know, and more. You are a remarkable poet.ReplyDelete
Happy birthday, Heidi! Enjoy your solar renewal.ReplyDelete
I'm feeling this-nodding along as you ask what I'm asking.
"If I had known what we would become, what
my children would become, I would have said no
to these harmless, genius tools–no to the cell phone
and the laptop, no to the internet and to Facebook. "
From Laura Shovan
Heidi, happy birthday, fellow Pisces! (Mine is today.) I like all the poems here, especially yours. Love all the literary references in the 2nd.ReplyDelete
Wonderful collection of odes, Heidi--especially your two! I have felt that desire to go and dig, to bury my head from all that "progress" has brought. And that green sofa--what a tale!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday Heidi and thank you for hosting and for the gathering of so many March poems. March is different here down under - the days are getting shorter and them temperatures are starting to drop, but it still feels like summer most days. I loved your pair of poems and that last 'breathtaking again' had be thinking and feeling many things. And the sofa! Wow!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday, from another of the "pivotal generation" - who wonders with you if we might dig and stay inside that hole till all this passes. I'm enamored of e.e. cummings' "in Just-ReplyDelete
spring when the world is mud-
luscious" -- wanna be in that world! Thank you for hosting, Heidi!
Well. I was busy deciding which of the other poems you shared I liked best (Clare, Wilcox, Dickinson), and then I got to YOURS. Wow. The ending of 3.11.11 and the " not cool consumption / but cozy creation" in Ezra Jack Keats' couch. I love both these poems--what they say of our world and what they share of you. And I love how they stretch me. I don't understand every allusion. I can't pin down every meaning. But there's enough for me to grip and sail away with, exploring your thoughts as they spark new ones in me. Thank you for this. Oh, and happy birthday! xoReplyDelete
Heidi,I am not sure where my comment went. Perhaps,it is floating in internet space so here I start again. I just finished reading all of the posts and it was a wonderful experience, starting from yours. I hope your birthday yesterday was filled with delight and more happy memories. Your gift to the reader was a treasure-acalvacade of poems throughout different centuries. As I reread the poems you chose, Langston Hughes and e.e.cummings stood out but your poems were spectacular, unearthing seeds that burst into little gifts of poetic goodness.ReplyDelete
Heidi, thanks for hosting and for all the poems you shared, yours and others! Hope you had a lovely birthday! This won't let me sign in, but it's Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com.ReplyDelete