Thursday, April 27, 2006

To Be a Poet

To Be a Poet
Life taught me long ago
that music and poetry
are the most beautiful things on earth
that life can give us.
Except for love, of course.

In an old textbook
published by the Imperial Printing House
in the year Vrchlickys death
I looked up the section on poetics
and poetic ornament.

Then I placed a rose in a tumbler,
lit a candle
and started to write my first verses.

Flare up, flame of words,
and soar,
even if my fingers get burned!

A startling metaphor is worth more
than a ring on ones finger.
But not even Puchmajers Rhyming Dictionary
was any used to me.

In vain I snatched for ideas
and fiercely closed my eyes
in order to hear that first magic line.
But in the dark, instead of words,
I saw a woman's smile and
wind-blown hair.

That has been my destiny.
And I've been staggering towards it breathlessly
all my life.

Jaroslav Vrchlicky Czech poet of the nineteenth century --Translated by Ewald Osers

22 Comments:

Blogger Nan said...

Oh, so captivating, these words. Sometimes I am not sure if I "get" poetry, though I love immersing myself in the words. This poem reminds me of a quote I've always liked, "Forget about love...let me kie in your yellow hair." I don't know where I found it or who said it, but it sticks with me.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Oh goodness... no way to edit. It should say, "...die in your yellow hair."

2:35 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

This is a beautiful post. Lovely image and poem. Did you make the image?

6:36 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Love this and love poetry. It takes me back to a time that is romantic and thought provoking.
Beautiful image as well.
a.

8:36 AM  
Blogger bee said...

i love the last stanza (people have been killing me with their poem selections today, and the last stanzas seem to be particularly gripping).
i have been staggering towards this my entire life...wow.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

ahhhh..the process! thanks for sharing. :)

9:15 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

This is just so beautiful. Thank you for posting it.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

No.. not love poetry.. muse poetry. :-) Lovely and inspiring.

11:41 AM  
Blogger MB said...

I've been staggering towards it breathlessly
all my life


Yes, that's how it feels.

Thank you for this choice.

2:54 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Poetry often says it all - like words singing. Thanks for your lovely posting. :)

3:20 PM  
Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

Delightful poem - I love the way it progresses. So wonderful to read aloud. The image is achingly beautiful. Yours?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

how totally beautiful. thank you for the mix of words and picture

5:41 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

What a beautiful poem...and picture to go with it.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

I saw a woman's smile and
wind-blown hair.

That has been my destiny.
And I've been staggering towards it breathlessly
all my life.

Breathtaking.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Sonia said...

Beautiful poem and image as well, Endment.

And thanks so much for your nice commment about my landscape.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

Oh these are both lovely. I've been given a poem recently, Poetry by Pablo Neruda (http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=6638&poem=32383) and it talks about how poetry captivates us and drags us in. I love reading the poems you write or choose - feels like a breath of fresh air in my day!

3:25 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

This is wonderful, just wonderful. Thank you for sharing this inspirational poem. It invites me to think about how you can suddenly realize that you are exactly where you need to be.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

Furtive, heartbreaking and relinquishing. Thank you for this.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

nan
words seem like treasures to me --- captivating is a good way of defining them

lindsay, andrea and pam in tucson
Thank you - the image was made with lots of coaching from harmony- I have done other kinds of work with photo editing software but this is stretching into new teritory for me.

bee, mb and fran
I keep struggling also perhaps by the time I reach 70 I will have it figured out? :)

Sky, rexroth's daughter, cynthia e. bagley and chiefbiscuit
When I found this poem it simply talked to me... I had to share.

rain, jimmy and sonia
so glad you enjoy it

sigrid jardin
thanks for the link ---Wonderful poem


liz elayne and rebekah
I am so glad you enjoy it also

10:16 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

there is no other way...poetry has the cornerstones to the place I want to be....

6:55 AM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

Oh Endment, what a magnificent image and what a magnificent poem, what a wonder this is! Cheers, Cate

8:13 AM  
Blogger Cara said...

@Nan I love your quote, too.
Richard Brautigan said/wrote that about the yellow hair :)

7:07 AM  

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