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A Poem for a Thursday #2


I know Judith Viorst as the author of children's books. My kids loved Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I liked it too. It is a children's book that holds up to repeated reading and that has a lovely rhythm to the language. This is not surprising because Viorst is also known for her poetry. I particularly like The Pleasures of Ordinary Life. 

I've had my share of necessary losses,
Of dreams I know no longer can come true.
I'm done now with the whys and the becauses.
It's time to stop complaining and pursue
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.
I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.
But happiness arrived in new disguises:
Sun lighting a child's hair. A friend's embrace.
Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find the poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery
Are over. But they really can't compete
With all we've built together: A long history.
Connections that help render us complete.
Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet,
Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.

Autumn Days


Crisp mornings.

Blue skies.

Leaves of red, orange, and yellow.

Apples, pulled off the tree with a twist of the wrist, piled into a bag, and taken home to be turned into applesauce and apple pie.

Pumpkin pie.

Hikes through the state forest with the leaves drifting down around us and our feet scuffling through them, inches deep, on the ground.

The strong, earthy smell of chrysanthemums.

Sitting around the fire pit outside with the fire crackling, the sparks flying upward, and constant discussions about whether or not it is the right time and place to add another log.

Acorns and horse chestnuts and milkweed pods and pinecones and leaves again--always leaves--collected on walks and saved until they shrivel in pockets and crumble in piles on the counter.

Evenings spent on the couch with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and a good book or two.

The vivid reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of autumn sunsets that take your breath away and are gone in only moments.

Warm bread dripping with butter eaten straight from the oven while standing at the counter.

Cozy sweaters, ankle boots, and warm scarves--all my favorite clothes.

October was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put out the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths.
 Anne reveled in the world of color about her.
"Oh Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills? I'm going to decorate my room with them. 

I agree with Anne. October, with all its assorted paraphernalia, gives me a thrill--several thrills.

A Poem for a Thursday


I don't read much poetry and I am not sure why. It might be pure laziness since poetry is frequently not as straight-forward as a novel and I like my words clear and incisive. However, I also like my words beautiful and lyrical and poems fit the bill there.  In a bid to read more poetry I am going to start posting a poem I like every Thursday. That is all it is going to be--a poem I like that caught my eye or my ear. I am not going to tear it apart and analyze it to death though I might occasionally have some random thoughts about it. If you have random thoughts as well then I would love to hear them in the comments. I also would love poetry recommendations. Do you have a favorite poem? A favorite poet? Tell me what I have been missing.

I have always thought of Robert Frost as a New England poet but I was fascinated to find out that, while he lived for many years in Massachusetts, his poetry was first published while he was living in England. Frost won the Pulitzer Prize four times, was made the poet laureate of Vermont in 1961, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature an amazing 31 times. I doubt there is a high school student in the U.S. who has not read and analyzed his "The Road Not Taken".  I wasn't familiar (what a surprise) with this poem but I stumbled across it while looking for quotes about autumn.

A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bar, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.

Leaves Compared With Flowers
Robert Frost

I wrote this whole post and then realized that, as with many things, this is not an original thought. The blog Girl With Her Head in a Book also posts a weekly poem. Go, read! Have a double-dose of weekly poetry.