Poetry Friday: The Round by Stanley Kunitz

Poetry Friday is hosted by Katie at The Logonauts 

This has been a different kind of summer – a summer of giving myself over to the quiet beauty of the farm, where the sounds of birds calling to each other across the valley and corn rustling into its green growth is often all I hear all day.  This is by choice.

This has been a summer of also giving myself over to the life of being a reader and being a writer.  Not the “I’ll read a chapter or two when I find the time” kind of reading.  Not the “I’ll write a few lines when I can” kind of writing.  But an immersive reading and writing that is at the center of my day, every day.

Because, from September through June, I am immersed in the lives of fifty readers and writers – my days are all about their journeys.  This summer is all about mine.  And, in the serenity of the farm, the ever changing unchanging of  its everyday beauty, I am discovering again the glory of being lost in an exquisitely written book for hours upon end…the joy and discipline of the writing life.

Jane Kenyon, the poet of my heart and soul, advised this: “Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”

So, that has been my summer work.  Unlike Stanley Kunitz, however, I don’t have quite enough discipline to find a cellar in which to hide from the view, which is after all, a rather fleeting summer view:

 

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The Round
Stanley Kunitz

Light splashed this morning
on the shell-pink anemones
swaying on their tall stems;
down blue-spiked veronica
light flowed in rivulets
over the humps of the honeybees;
this morning I saw light kiss
the silk of the roses
in their second flowering,
my late bloomers
flushed with their brandy.
A curious gladness shook me.

So I have shut the doors of my house,
so I have trudged downstairs to my cell,
so I am sitting in semi-dark
hunched over my desk
with nothing for a view
to tempt me
but a bloated compost heap,
steamy old stinkpile,
under my window;
and I pick my notebook up
and I start to read aloud
the still-wet words I scribbled
on the blotted page:
“Light splashed . . .”

I can scarcely wait till tomorrow
when a new life begins for me,
as it does each day,
as it does each day.

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#celebratelu: Restarting writing

Celebrate with Ruth Ayres Writes …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get.

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It’s been a while since I’ve joined the Celebrate This Week community, not because I did not have moments to celebrate (thankfully, there were many), but because I’ve been a long writing drought.  I started many blog posts and Googledocs with this or that intention or idea in mind, only to find it go nowhere.  Soon, I stopped starting any writing at all, which made me sad.

Once, somewhere in our daily Voxer conversations, my friend Julieanne reminded me that even though I wasn’t putting words on the page, I was busy planting seeds for future writing – they were right there, she said, in the threads of what we were sharing about books, teaching, kids, and life.

Then, in the midst of the multi genre writing marathon that is the last month of our sixth grade life, a student said this when I took note of what appeared to be his constant need to  walk about the classroom: “I’m writing in my head, Mrs. Smith. Sometimes I need to write in my head before I can write on a page.”  Bingo! Yes, that is also what I had been doing these past few months – writing in my head as I drove around, gardened, walked the dog, or cleaned up my classroom.  I had snippets of lines about some topics, an whole paragraphs about some others stored away, ready to be reached for when the right time presented itself.  That made me feel SO much better!

This week, for no particular reason that I could put my finger on, I began to write again: a blog post, the beginnings of an article , the outlines of a story…not so much a beginning of new writing, but the restarting of already thought out writing.

This weekend, I celebrate that!