Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy, Happy Christmas

This morning, my son came downstairs and said to his grandpa: Happy Christmas Grandpa!

In the spirit of Christmas this year, and in keeping with the theme of poetry, a friend sent me this poem, which is partially quoted in the original movie: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Music and Moonlight (1874)

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A 'Good' Poem

So far, this is my favorite poem of Keillor's compilation. It is a poem by Anne Sexton. I've since looked into Sexton's work, and her life, and I suppose it's no surprise I love her. She was a contemporary of Plath, and I believe they actually studied together at university. Much of Sexton's work is on the darker side, at least from my perspective, but this poem is so lovely and full of hope I have read it over and over again, and each time I read it, I like it more. It was after reading this poem, in fact, that I began drawing hearts on the palms of my kids' hands each night before putting them to bed, kissing those palms and sending them off with my love for the night. Now, they do the same for me.

Welcome Morning (Anne Sexton)

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though I often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn't share, I've heard,
dies young.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote 17 of 52

This week's quote is appropriate for the week as I'm still working my way (lovingly) through Good Poems. It's a wonderful book, and I'll be posting my favorite poems (thus far) this week.

Today's quote is by Henry David Thoreau:

Colour, which is the poet's wealth, is so expensive that most take to mere outline sketches and become men of science.

This quote makes me wonder which aspects of my life lack color......


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quote 16 of 52

With Christmas coming on in a few weeks now, I have been thinking of ways to simplify my life and to "take it down a notch" this year - so that it's not a mad chaos of wrapping paper and toys. I admit that I love presents and just stuff in general, but the following quote makes me think about why I love all this stuff and what it adds (or how it detracts) from my life.

The quote is by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.

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