“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More thoughts about poetry

I am moving deeper and deeper into my love of reading poetry. I am a picky poetry reader - not all poems speak to me and I will breeze through many before I stop and ponder one. That, or I simply don't give some poems the time they need in order to ripen in me. In reality I think that I have acquired such a short attention span these days, filled as I am with other stuff that rattles around in my head, that I only have the energy to read a poem, and a short one at that.

It's true my attention span is very short. I haven't read an entire book in months, many many months. I read a bit here and there. I read a lot of blogs and stuff on the internet. I skim through the newspaper. I save sections of the NY Times for a week, even two, thinking I will actually read it. Sometimes I do. Like when I'm on vacation and sitting in a coffee shop with the intention of reading the NY Times. But other times I will allow a few weeks of the paper to accumulate on the coffee table before I dump the whole pile in the recycling bin. And then because its so old I don't even feel guilty.

Last week, or maybe it was the week before, I don't remember now, but regardless, recently, I bought several more books of poetry. One of them is "Good Poems for Hard Times, selected and arranged by Garrison Keillor." It's a wonderful book of poetry, and given its title, was bound to have one or two that would speak to where I am in my life right now.

And, I was right. Here is one that I read just a few minutes ago:

"The Cure" by Ginger Andrews

"Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I'm not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she's just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it's snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn't been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She's been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn't do it, put on a red dress."

yeah.

I think the word mulleygrubs is fabulously descriptive...and, will become a regular part of my vocabulary...now I just need to go get a red dress.