Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sing a song of Spring

photo of dreary Spring day
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for curling up with us this dreary afternoon. The photo is from the end of March six years ago. Today the backyard looks pretty much like the picture, establishing that what we're going through is typical for Spring in My Minnesota, global warming or not. Cross your fingers and say a prayer, if that's your style, for our neighbors in southwestern Minnesota. An inch of ice on roads and wires makes for real problems. If we had more insulation (lots more) and our homes were less draughty, we could stay warmer, longer, with our without power. Something to think about some other time. Now it's time, again, to think about poetry. Mary Oliver has been to Minnesota several times. I'm claiming that that's enough of a connection to qualify for inclusion but her most recent book published, "A Thousand Mornings," includes another Minnesota connection. Here's part of
"Anything worth thinking about is worth
          singing about."

Which is why we have
songs of praise, songs of love, songs
         of sorrow.

Songs to the gods, who have
         so many names.

Songs the shepherds sing, on the
         lonely mountains, while the sheep
                  are honoring the grass, by eating it.

The dance-songs of the bees, to tell
        where the flowers, suddenly, in the
                  morning light, have opened....
I know I don't yet have every book of poetry Ms. Oliver has published. I'm still working on that part of my bucket list. The thought of seeing her and Gary Snyder reading at the same event gives me the shivers. So, what happens when we read the excerpt above in light of Snyder's new nature poetics? Nature literate and grounded in place? Yes and not in this poem, respectively, in my opinion. However, many of her other poems are clearly grounded in and on Cape Cod. My reading of the poem credits Coyote to the "gods, who have many names" and the reference to Dylan, a trickster if ever we had one. Science lives in the dance-songs. Why don't you go to your local library and see if you can get your hands on a copy of A Thousand Mornings to finish the poem and the close reading? Thanks for listening. Come again. Rants, raves and reflections served daily.