Category Archives: Poetry
This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.
As there’s no AtoZ on Sundays, today’s theme for the National Poetry Month daily poem will be ‘Sunday’.
Today, two poems, one called Sunday Lunch by Luccia Gray and Sunday Afternoons, by Erica Jong.
She spoke her mind,
Unencumbered by convention.
‘Naked words’, she humbly declared,
Despite the hate they hid. He dared to disagree.
Another Sunday lunch. My in-laws,
Yelling in the kitchen.
Norman Rockwell’s painting represents what Sunday lunches should be like, good food, happy families, laughter, peace and harmony, but unfortunately, it’s not always the case.
Sunday Afternoons by Erica Jong
I sit at home
at my desk alone
as I used to do
on many sunday afternoons
when you came back to me,
your arms ached for me,
and your arms would close me in
though they smelled of other women.
I think of you
on Sunday afternoons.
Your sweet head would bow,
like a child somehow,
down to me –
and your hair and your eyes were wild.
We would embrace on the floor-
You see my back´s still sore.
You knew how easily I bruised,
It´s a soreness I would never lose.
I think of you
on Sunday afternoons
This is a poignant poem about a disempowered woman who remembers and still longs for her lover’s visits on Sunday Afternoons when it suited him. Her memory is not of love, but of the bruising endured by their lovemaking. She is obviously also emotionally bruised and unable to accept the loss of what appeared to have been a toxic relationship.
There is a beautiful musical version of this poem in a song by Vanessa Daou
Erica Jong (b. 1942) is an American novelist and poet, who is famous for her debut novel, published in 1973 novel Fear of Flying. The novel was famous for its controversial representation of female sexuality.
#1lineWed theme for this week is Love.
My tweet: Love her if she makes you happy or sad. Love her if she heals or hurts you. Love her because you have to love her. Just Love her.
Such a wonderful word warrants at least a few more lines, so here they are:
Love her when she makes you happy
Love her even when she makes you sad
Love her if she smiles
Love her if she cries.
Love her when she heals you
Love her when she hurts you.
Love her because you love to love her.
Love her because you can’t not love her.
Just Love her.
Yesterday was Saint Valentine’s Day. Her are a few more lines about love
I have mixed feelings about September.
As a child I hated September because I had to go back to school, and I was one of those children who didn’t like school very much before the age of 12, and although it improved after that, I never really got to like school, which is why it’s so surprising that I became a teacher, which leads me onto the next point.
As an adult, I also dislike (hate is such a childish word) September because I have to go back to school, and although I enjoy my job, I prefer to be on holiday, because my time is my own.
I have always thought Auden’s poem September, had a good point when he used words such as ‘hopes expire’, ‘anger’, ‘fear’, ‘odour of death’, of course he wasn’t talking about school. He was describing his feelings regarding the outbreak of the Second World War, marked by the invasion of Poland on that day, in 1939.
The following is the first stanza:
September 1, 1939
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
This depressing poem, which expresses anger, fear, and sorrow, due to the outbreak of the war includes Auden’s darkest and most foreboding line: “We must love one another or die”.
On the other hand, September is also a delicious month, which is mostly warm and welcoming, as the summer languidly blends into autumn.
Fortunately, Helen Hunt Jackson, (1830-1885), US poet, born in Amherst, the same place and the same year as Emily Dickinson, although she moved away in her youth, wrote a delightful poem called September, which reminds us of the beauty of this month.
Hunt recreates a harvest month of mellowing fruit, and golden meadows and butterflies.
The final two stanzas remind us how beautiful September is:
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.
I’m beginning to change my mind about September.
I have to change my mind.
September is a beautiful month, which we’ll be sharing with plenty of posts, because Auden was right. We either create positive energy or perish.
Finally, a present for the first day of September: a beautiful song by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Enjoy!
The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people…
The poem narrates America’s history as a nation from the time of the early European colonists, who still considered themselves English. The early settlers understandably lacked a national identity.
The ‘gift’ of their identity was eventually gained as a result of struggle and war, leading to their freedom and embracing their new land and American identity:
‘(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)’ (line 13)
“The Gift Outright” became famous after eighty-seven-year-old Frost recited it at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, on January 20, 1961.
It is considered a triumphantly patriotic work, which Frost himself compared to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
In this poem Frost identifies ‘we’ and ‘ours’ as the white settlers from Europe, rather than the original “owners” of the land, the Native Americans.
In any case, this poem coincides with the spirit of the 4th of July which ignores the conflict between the colonists and the Native Americans, and instead focuses on the clash between the British (Old World) and the colonists (New World).
The Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), proclaimed that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, as thirteen independent states forming a nation called, the United States of America, which as we all know, gradually yet unrelentingly expanded towards the west, and south-west, to become the most powerful nation in the 21st century.
Many things have happened since July 4th, 1776, but one thing is certain, this day is still celebrated as the birth of a collective sense of ‘American (USA) Nation’.
Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, followers, and readers!