Monday, April 4, 2011

52 Poems (week 4)

In my search for a poem this week, I was lost on where to start and googled the word 'poem'. One site offered me random poems and I clicked through the Maya Angelous and Pablo Nerudas that I'd heard or read before until something new appeared.

The first was 'Happiness' by Raymond Carver, whom I'd only known from his letters to his editor, desperate cries to leave his work alone, so he could look himself in the mirror and still see a man, and not return to the bottle, because his stories were full of another man's words. This was the Carver I knew, and a poem called 'Happiness' was reluctantly read. But it's lovely (excerpt only below).
SO EARLY it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought...

...Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

The second is by a man named Billy Collins, about whom Google has produced for me long lists of accolades. 'Marginalia' is just what I was looking for (an excerpt below).

SOMETIMES the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head...

...I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page
A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."
Photo Source: Poetry from Sephora's Beauty and the Blog; Billy Collins from; Raymond Carver from's article 'Being Raymond Carver'.  

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