Autumnal Gold


I have you repeat the colors of leaves

saying: deep autumnal gold, crimson red, plum purple,

filling mouth and ear with remembering.


~ Therese Flanagan

What I'm Reading: An Animal of the Sixth Day by Laura Fargas

April is poetry month. I read poetry year round and can't imagine a month without it, but I'm happy to celebrate it publicly every April. Some poems wind up becoming talismans -- something you carry and something that carries you. The poem becomes something you breathe; something you are. That is how I feel about Laura Fargas' poem, Kuan Yin, which can be found in her book of poems: An Animal of the Sixth Day

Thank you, Laura Fargas.

What I'm reading...

I start out my day with poetry. Wallace Stevens is always on hand. There is a richness there that constantly informs.  I return, again and again, to his poem, The Idea of Order at Key West:



I also love The Man with the Blue Guitar. Stevens helped me understand the way an artist sees the visible world and gives it a mixture of voice and silence in witnessing it.



I first encountered Stevens' poetry in an anthology that included three of his poems: The Man with the Blue Guitar, The Emperor of Ice Cream,  and  Anecdote of the Jar. I didn't know what to make of them, but I was intrigued. Several lines stayed with me, which is the way poetry works with me. So I read more of his poems and I continue to read and reread them and understand them in different ways. Just as rereading a novel at different times of your life brings forth a whole new book, poems keep renewing themselves, or I come to them new. Over the years, in some strange alchemy, the lines feel grafted to my bones. I like to read his poems out loud. The experience is something like listening to music you love with headphones on; by giving it voice the work becomes embodied. It's a different sort of concentration and it allows more of the poem to sink in.