Saturday, May 21, 2011

Poem In Your Post Blog Hop!

It's feeling oh so springy here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, so I'm offering a poem by Kenneth Koch, playful poet (at least in this case) who excelled at playing with abstractions by making them concrete and chasing them around on the page... My hope: You'll smile, and then be moved to read it again - or better yet, to create your own.


One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing—for example, “Although it was a dark rainy day when
   the Adjective walked by, I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face
   until the day I perish from the green, effective earth.”
Or, “Will you please close the window, Andrew?”
Or, for example, “Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on the window sill has changed color
   recently to a light yellow, due to the heat from the boiler factory which exists nearby.”

In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, “And! But!”
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the Adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat—
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.

                                 - Kenneth Koch (1925-2002)

Now it's your turn.  Post any poem you wish and link below so we may all stroll through a wild meadow of verse...

* Bloggers sharing your poems: If you link above, please link back to What She Read in your post on your blog so others can find our hop. 

This hop lasts all weekend now, to make it easier, more leisurely and joyful for us to post and hop.  Stop back every week and any week that you can.  And spread the word: More poems will accrue for you. 

Let the joy begin.   And, as always, please support the poets who change us with their art.



Anonymous said...

Oh, I LOVE this one--thanks for introducing it to me!

curlygeek04 said...

Wonderful! I love the playfulness and use of language. I'll try to post one this weekend.

Jo said...

What a cool poem!!! I'm planning on my usual Sunday poem tomorrow, although I'm not sure right now which one I'll choose. I'll come back and link up, though. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


This is so wonderful and whimsical! =D I love the "hardness" of grammar as much as I love the "softness" of literature, and I think the poet got the characters of the parts of speech absolutely right!

Thanks for inviting me to join this hop, Laurie. I've linked up my latest "Word & Question" post. =)

parrish lantern said...

  Oatmeal - Galway Kinnell.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast.
I make it on the hotplate and put skimmed milk on it.
I eat it alone.
I am aware it is not good to eat oatmeal alone.
Its consistency is such that it is better for your mental health if somebody
            eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary companion.
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my oatmeal with John keats.
Keats said I was right to invite him: due to its glutinous texture, gluey
      lumpishness, hint of slime, and unusual willingness to disintegrate,
        oatmeal must never be eaten alone.
He said it is perfectly OK, however to eat it with an imaginary companion,
and he himself had enjoyed memorable porridges with Edmund Spenser
         and John Milton.
He also told me about writing the “Ode to a Nightingale”.
He wrote it quickly, he said, on scraps of paper, which he then  stuck in
        his pocket,
but when he got home he couldn’t figure out the order of the stanzas,
        and he and a friend spread the papers on a table, and they made
         some sense of them, but he isn’t sure to this day if they got it right.
He still wonders about the occasional sense of drift between stanzas,
and the way here and there a line will go into the configuration of a
         Moslem at prayer, then raise itself up and peer about, then lay
          itself down slightly off the mark, causing the poem to move
          forward with God’s reckless wobble.
He said someone told him that later in life Wordsworth heard about
            the scraps of paper on the table, and tried shuffling some stanzas
            of his own, but only made matters worse.
When breakfast was over, John recited “ To Autumn”
He recited it slowly, with much feeling, and he articulated the words
          lovingly, and his odd accent sounded sweet.
He didn’t offer the story of writing “To Autumn”, I doubt if there is
         much of one.
But he did say the sight of a just-harvested oat field got him started on it
and two of the lines, “For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells”
        and “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours” came to him
        while eating oatmeal alone.
I can see him – drawing a spoon through the stuff, gazing into the
           glimmering furrows, muttering – and it occurs to me:
maybe there is no sublime, only the shining of the amnion’s tatters.
for supper tonight I am going to have a baked potato left over from
I’m aware that a leftover baked potato can be damp, slippery, and
       simultaneously gummy and crumbly,
and therefore I’m going to invite Patrick Kavanagh to join me.


Laurie said...

Thanks, everybody, for hopping by - Glad so many of you enjoyed the Koch poem. And don't forget to link back so readers can find your poems...
Wow, Parrish: This Oatmeal poem is beautiful and rich on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. Prufrock does breakfast?

Jo said...

Just posted my Sunday poem and put the link back to here. :)

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