Some Juvenalia, and a sweater.

I am searching my house up and down for a poem I wrote last year on same random sheets of paper.    Just to be safe, I pulled out my poetry folder from the writing drawer and check to make sure I hadn’t out it away – I hadn’t.      It was interesting though to look back at some of my writing that dates from the late eighties and early nineties, when I was a child.

Very little of this material is dated,  but two of these pieces (Circles, and It Couldn’t Last)  are typewritten,  which means I most probably wrote them the summer I was 13, while staying with my grandparents in Wyoming while the rest of the family moved from Wyoming to Illinois.    The untitled tanka is from a school project on poetry – a little volume demonstrating different forms.   Other poems in the handwritten volume reference the Horned One and the Lady of Sea,  placing the writing somewhere between the summer ’84  when I first encountered goddess spirituality while searching for books by Andre Norton, and ’89,  when I got my first typewriter.

It Couldn’t Last

Laughing in love,

saying words we neither meant.

If time in love is wasted,

it was wasted time well spent.

 

Circles

Circles circumscribe the world.

Red slashed for no, green lit for go,

and foiled latex assuring save sex.

Coffee mugs, and water jugs,

the throat the killer throttles.

The needle, pill, the cigarette,  and of course the bottles.

Sugar cookies, ice cream cones,

smiley faces, aerodomes.

With each life take, each baseball hurled

another circle round the world.

 

Untitled

Blue sky high above.

Quite bright sun glowing high up.

Birds’ shadows darting

across the ground.   Dark, smooth like

stones skipping across the water.

 

And the sweater:

0111161555a  Some assembly required.   5 skeins of golden brown, two of white,  100% wool, and so old that the labels are just ‘ounces of worsted’, with no yardage.    Roughly estimating 150 yards per skein,  that gives me just over a thousand yards,   enough for a small sweater.   I’m thinking colorwork in the yoke, maybe at the cuffs.

 

My Favorite Christmas Poem…

…  is the glorious middle english masterpiece, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and rather too long to share here.    I am listening to the lovely Simon Armitage translation,   which includes along with the alliterative poetic translation a full reading of the poem in the original middle english.

One may read the original text of here, courtesy of the University of Toronto libraries.     The goodly and honest readers at Librivox.com  offer a fine reading of W.A. Neilson’s prose translation,  the text of which  can be found here, courtesy of the York University, also in Toronto.

May you one and all have a wonderful holiday season, blessed with friends, family, frivolity and cheer!

Some Knitting and Tea

The yarn is Red Heart Sashay,  in the GlenOak highschool school colors, for Bridget to wear to her events and spirit day and such like.   I’m making the pattern on the label, a ruffled scarf.  It’s weird knitting – the yarn is a long mesh ribbon and all the stitches are worked along one edge, leaving the rest of the ribbon to flutter around the body of the fabric.  Instant ruffles!    It’s a pretty straight forward knit,  6 stitches on large needles, back and forth in garter stitch.   I suppose theoretically you could put all the ruffles on one side by working it in stockinette.   It would be fast, if not for needing to spread out the ribbon and isolate just the working edge.

The tea is Yunnan Sourcing’s 2014 Red Horse GongTing, a shou puerh that I picked up a couple of mini-cakes of back in February,  mostly because the wrapper was adorable.   It’s an easy drinking tea,  with a dark dark liquor,   and gentle hay/very faint rose/lavender kind of thing going on.    Predominantly smooth aged hay, with just this almost not there floral hint.    Per YS, the floral note should come out more as the tea ages,   and I’ll crack the second cake probably sometime next year to compare to my current tasting notes     I’m also playing with brewing times and temps,  looking for the sweet spot for this tea.   Haven’t found it quite yet.   This is cup was brewed for about 2-3 minutes with water straight from the kettle,  10g of tea to 20 oz of water, with the leaves rinsed twice before brewing with the ‘getting boiled’ water in the kettle.

And that is what I  am doing this evening.  Some tea, and knitting.

 

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Some thoughts on poetry.

To me, poetry is a very intimate endeavor.  I write to capture images of moments real and imagined, or to exorcise overwhelming emotion.   Very often my inspiration is visual, a happening scene that evokes concepts and ideas which demand utterance.
A poem, thus, is a way of capturing and communicating something, and evoking the emotional character of that something.    The use of language in a poem is evocation,  a summoning of the final place the poet wishes to leave the reader.    Prose, by contrast, is intended to be communicative, to give the reader a clear view and path to the intended destination.   Prose demands an agreement on the nature of meaning, on words meaning what they say, on orderly progression through the writing.     Poetry, by contrast, uses the meanings of words and the progression of lines as a kind of backlighting, a way of illuminating rather than describing.

One Sheep, Done.

The mighty minecraft sheep looms over all!     Not my best work, by far,   but it’s done, and I’m happy about that.    It’s  been a long time coming.

The proportions are wonky,  which I’m pretty sure is my gauge, not Rachael Sundell’s awesome pattern.    I was able to knit this out of mostly remnant yarn from other projects, making it a nice stash buster.

Now that it’s finally finished, my knitting moratorium is lifted!   I had promised not to work on anything but this sheep until it was done, and now it is!

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A poem currently on my mind.

I encountered a quote from this recently – a few lines of the last stanza,  and was so star struck that I had to find the whole work.   It’s a fine read,  and worth memorizing.   I’ve taken a great deal of comfort and insight from reflecting on it.

The Old Astronomer to his Pupil –  Sarah Williams, 1868

Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, ’tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men’s fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles!

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.