Dr. Laurie Lamon would like to offer some “cheer and beauty” to your finals preparations. Take a look at her wonderful poetry recommendations below!
Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks, by Jane Kenyon
I am the blossom pressed in a book, found again after two hundred years. . . .
I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper. . . .
When the young girl who starves sits down to a table she will sit beside me. . . .
I am food on the prisoner’s plate. . . .
I am water rushing to the wellhead, filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .
I am the patient gardener of the dry and weedy garden. . . .
I am the stone step, the latch, and the working hinge. . . .
I am the heart contracted by joy. . . the longest hair, white before the rest. . . .
I am there in the basket of fruit presented to the widow. . . .
I am the musk rose opening unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .
I am the one whose love overcomes you, already with you when you think to call my name. . . .
The Writer, by Richard Wilbur
· In her room at the prow of the house
· Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden, My daughter is writing a story. I pause in the stairwell, hearing From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale. Young as she is, the stuff Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy: I wish her a lucky passage. But now it is she who pauses, As if to reject my thought and its easy figure. A stillness greatens, in which The whole house seems to be thinking, And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor Of strokes, and again is silent. I remember the dazed starling Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago; How we stole in, lifted a sash And retreated, not to affright it; And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door, We watched the sleek, wild, dark And iridescent creature Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove To the hard floor, or the desk-top, And wait then, humped and bloody, For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits Rose when, suddenly sure, (poem cont. stanza break) P
· It lifted off from a chair-back, Beating a smooth course for the right window And clearing the sill of the world. It is always a matter, my darling, Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish What I wished you before, but harder.
Eating Poetry, by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry. The librarian does not believe what she sees. Her eyes are sad and she walks with her hands in her dress. The poems are gone. The light is dim. The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up. Their eyeballs roll, their blond legs burn like brush. The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep. She does not understand. When I get on my knees and lick her hand, she screams. I am a new man. I snarl at her and bark. I romp with joy in the bookish dark.