Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Art of Poetry

“If I knew where poems came from, I’d go there.” --- Michael Longley

Old Poets
If I should live in a forest
And sleep underneath a tree,
No grove of impudent saplings
Would make a home for me.

I'd go where the old oaks gather,
Serene and good and strong,
And they would not sigh and tremble
And vex me with a song.

The pleasantest sort of poet
Is the poet who's old and wise,
With an old white beard and wrinkles
About his kind old eyes.

For these young flippertigibbets
A-rhyming their hours away
They won't be still like honest men
And listen to what you say.

The young poet screams forever
About his sex and his soul;
But the old man listens, and smokes his pipe,
And polishes its bowl.

There should be a club for poets
Who have come to seventy year.
They should sit in a great hall drinking
Red wine and golden beer.

They would shuffle in of an evening,
Each one to his cushioned seat,
And there would be mellow talking
And silence rich and sweet.

There is no peace to be taken
With poets who are young,
For they worry about the wars to be fought
And the songs that must be sung.

But the old man knows that he's in his chair
And that God's on His throne in the sky.
So he sits by the fire in comfort
And he lets the world spin by.
--- Joyce Kilmer (For Robert Cortez Holliday)

18 Comments:

Blogger MB said...

The quote made me grin -- I sure know that feeling!

7:21 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

and polishes his bowl...
this line just sings for me.

thank you for sharing this beautiful poem!

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Ah, I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. I think that's Joyce Kilmer, isn't it? Enjoyed reading this.

12:50 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

You come up with such gems. This is another. Thank you. Is Fran right? My father used to sing that all the time, but I never knew who wrote it.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Lovely! It made me think of another by Joyce Kilmer:

"I think that I shall never see,
a poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

I remember my grandmother reading this to me.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

This is beatiful. Thanks.
I also love your finch photos. I too enjoy thier bried spring song.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

The older I become, the more poems like this make sense. I remember being a young flippertigibbets rhyming my hours away. Now, I wait for someone to pour the red wine, and let the world spin by. I must admit though, I still scream and worry about the wars.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

This is what I long for - especially now that I "have come to seventy year." Would that we could have that tranquility. Like rd, however, I worry about the state of the world and fret about what I should be doing to make it better. (A glass of red wine always helps). Thank you for a sensitive poem that puts this into perspective. I've only known Kilmer from the "lovely as a tree" poem; now I know I should explore more.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Nice poem... love the pics too. ;-)

8:13 PM  
Anonymous homebird said...

Great selection! The poet has said beautifully just what I've been thinking lately.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

I haven't really read or studied much poetry - but I love the Poetry Thursday because I get exposed to more poetry and poets. Joyce Kilmer seems like one I should know. Thanks.

12:36 PM  
Blogger lil' ol karebear said...

Om Poet,

May we find the flat land and reach the summit!

revision:
www.whybirdsing.com
in~joy!

Love,
karen

11:49 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I particularly liked the opening quote and I find your bird photos simply stunning.

3:36 AM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

How lovely. . . . I had forgotten this poem and how much I loved it. Thank you for giving it to us!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Wendy A said...

Your photos are lovely. You must have a very good zoom. What kind of camera are you using.

1:44 AM  
Blogger kelly rae said...

just found your blog. love your poem and your bird pics - so lovely and the history, too!

4:38 PM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

I'm so glad that you know where poems come from and that you go there frequently! This one is lovely, and so are the photos!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

Well - to each of you - don't know where the glitch has been but couldn't post for a day or so and commenting has been very uncertain... hope I am back :)

mb
Me to - glad to share a grin...

liz elayne
I like that line also

fran aka redondowriter, greenishlady and nan
thats the poet --- Until recently the "tree" poem is the only one I knew by Kilmer but I recently discovered there are some more lovely poems from the Kilmer pen :)

lindsay
I can hear them singing right now - love their songs.

rexroth's daughter and pam in tucson
me too :) but on occasion I still have been known to get out my banner and my white horse :)

cynthia e. bagley,homebird, kara,
thankyou - If you hadn't guessed - I love postry also :)

lil ol karebear
thanks - for some reason - can't get the link to work just now. will try again later

wenda nairn
me too :) and thank you.

kerrdelune
I have been exploring poetry again - love poets who actually say something in their poems :)

wendy a
I am using a canon eos rebel with an ef 70-300mm stabelized lens

kelly
welcome and thanks so much for your visit and for your comment - I love it when visitors take the time to comment :)

sigrid jardin
glad you also enjoy the poetry.


Do the rest of you find these word verification exercises as challenging as this dislexic?

7:03 AM  

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