Thursday, July 12, 2007

Marching through Georgia

I have returned to Iowa and have some pictures to post and stories to tell about travels from Duluth to Athens via Decatur. Which sounds much further than it really is.

After sifting the wheat from the chaff of my piled up bills, magazines and junk mail I did discover some pleasant surprises. I love the issue of Poetry that was waiting for me in that heap. I really recommend this Summer Break issue of Jul/Aug. with some authors and writers I did not expect. Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame has a hilarious take on the collapse on last year's New York Giants led by Eli Manning. There is a collection of anecdotes in a section called Poets We Have Known such as Christopher Hitchens on Auden's lover, Rick Moody on Susan Wheeler. and there are others. The best line goes to Joseph Epstein on John Frederick Nims as an example of the exception to the rule:

"I do not seek the company of poets, nor would I wish either of my two granddaughters to marry one. I have long admired poetry...yet poets all too often stand in relation to poetry as Christians do to Christianity: far short, alas, of the ideal."

There is a trove of other gems by Billy Collins, Robert Wright has a funny moose poem that I will have to post later but the one that caught my ear initially was the one below by Wendy Cope...this could be a villanelle but I am not that solid on my fixed forms. I know it is probably not a sestina. It reminded me of Elizabeth Bishop. Cheers.

Some Rules

Stop, if the car is going "clunk"
Or if the sun has made you blind.
Don't answer e-mails when you're drunk.

You fire off something fierce. You're sunk.
It's irretrievable. It's signed.
You feel your spirits going "clunk."

Don't hide your face with too much gunk,
Especially if it's old and lined.
Don't answer e-mails when you're drunk.

Don't live with thirty years of junk-
Those precious things you'll never find.
Stop, if the car is going "clunk."

Don't fall for an amusing hunk,
However rich, unless he's kind.
Don't answer e-mails when you're drunk.

In this respect I am like a monk:
I need some rules to bear in mind.
Stop, if the car is going "clunk."
Don't answer e-mails when you're drunk.

Wendy Cope
Poetry, Vol CXC No. 4
July/August 2007

3 comments:

Churlita said...

Glad that you're back. Thanks for the poem.

Dexter said...

Thank for the gladness. :) I need to catch up on some blogs.

Lorie said...

Interesting to know.