Poetry Club October 2020


Tece started us off with “On the Fifth Day” by Jane Hirshfield. We were all somewhat speechless after she read the poem….very deep. For some of us it was somewhat religious…modeling after Genesis. It was apropos for the times, and written in March of 2020. Basic themes of silencing the scientists, but of how the earth will still speak.

Leslie wanted something uplifting and read “Everything is Going to Be All Right” by Derek Mahon. A short poem, which did bring forth a sense of hope.

Cindy was next, with “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. This was another poem about glass half full or half empty…with the twist at the end that it really was up to each of us to make this place beautiful. She also read several more poems: “Why We Tell Stories” by Lisle Mueller, a poem about what stories actually mean to us as humans, and “Fugitive” about how we are all disguised by aging.

Susan was searching for one poem and came across another. We heard both from her. “Solitude” by Caroline Caddy was the first, with beautiful symbolic images of how things can seem like solitude and they aren’t. Kind of the difference between “alone” and “lonely.” Susan taught Literature 101 at one time in her life…she read a poem which she used in her class, “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. This one is short, but filled with symbolism. We discussed what the “frigid house” meant to the writer and the reader.

Robin read another deep poem, “When Great Trees Fall”, one she saw posted to reflect the death of Justice Ginsberg. Written by Maya Angelou in 1990, surely after an important death, the poem let us know that when great souls die, life goes on and they are carried with us.

Barbara read “Directions” by Connie Wanek, a stunning and inspirational poem. This poet truly does what her bio says…turns ordinary things into an existential dilemma. The beautiful poem of traveling down a road was one big metaphor…for life? for accomplishment? For anything that becomes more sacred the closer one gets?

Kathy was the only one who remembered our homework from last month and she started us with a clever limerick about limericks, by Morris Bishop. Then, because we all still need beauty and comfort in these trying times, she read “Picking Blueberries” by Mary Oliver.

Linda wasn’t able to join us, but she sent a poem for all to enjoy: A Night — there lay the Days between —by Emily Dickinson. I think it’s about insomnia…very appropriate these days!