I came across a poem from this 1997 Milkweed Editions book last month and decided to get a copy. Bees and honey poems are always worth a second look here at This Frenzy.
Since it is cold and dark here in Philly on March 1st, with another snow storm headed our way, it seems like a perfect night to read some poetry.
I’ll be tweeting favorite lines as I read, and will work on a summary after.
Friends and Fans, I’ve been invited to be a featured reader at the Green Line Cafe reading series on Tuesday, March 18th. Put it on your calendars now! I’ve not done a full reading in a long long time, and am really looking forward to the evening.
Details and Location, Location, Location:
Event: Green Line Cafe Reading Series, hosted by Leonard Gontarek and Lillian Dunn
Time: 7 PM
Place: Green Line Cafe at 4426 Locust Street in West Philly (there are other Cafe locations, but we’ll be at this one)
At the Touch of You
At the touch of you,
As if you were an archer with your swift hand at the bow,
The arrows of delight shot through my body.
You were spring,
And I the edge of a cliff,
And a shining waterfall rushed over me.
This poem came through my mailbox from Poem-a-day. And wow, is it ever lovely. Posting it here so I can keep coming back to it.
About This Poem
“At the Touch of You” was published in Witter Bynner’s collection Grenstone Poems; a sequence (Frederick A. Stokes, 1917).
from Laura Madeline Wiseman, Queen of the Platform, section I
Journal Entry: Love
You kissed me hard after you said the word. It floated
on the surface, on the lake—like a male swan, like an edge
walked to—it’s o a wedding ring, a life ring, thrown far
into the water, the second consonant vibrating, a ripple.
When you say do I, when you grab my hand
and pull me to you, when you recite “Song of Myself”
into my ear, pressing against me on the footpath
in a waltz under the moonlight and live oaks
after having five minutes of the word in my mouth
I laugh, throaty and effervescent,
all the while feeling the l down the length of my body
like a purring, a tuning fork, and that e
silent, soft, sliding off into breath.
From my on-going grief and fear about what Fukushima means for our oceans, our planet, all the animals and ecosystems with no power to stop human poison, came a poem trying to find words for the immensity of the grief. The poem is now available to purchase as a glossy poetry postcard using the link below.
I can’t hold this grief today
all containment shattered spilling pouring pluming out
currents of currents of eddies of currents of riptides of
fallout of rain acid of rain nuclear of rain that doesn’t fall Oh drought
of grief oh flood of grief oh wall of grief washing down mountains washing
away the house and the child and the barn and the henhouse leaving one
perfect egg unbroken but no hen
to warm it to life
That egg is my grief today
dying in its wholeness
Fukushima Poem Card
Happening now at #poetrylive via @thisfrenzy is Queen of the Platform by Laura Madeline Wiseman from Anaphora Literary Press. I first met Madeline at a Split This Rock workshop she ran which gave me starts on 3 different poems. Then two sections of my long piece “Wanting a Gun” were accepted for her amazing anthology Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. And now I have her newest chapbooks in my happy fan hands and wow, I’m full in from the first poem.
Follow along as I read, sharing lines and images and poems that move me, startle me, shake me up!
From the cover copy:
These poems are based on the life of Laura Madeline Wiseman’s great-great-great-grandmother, the nineteenth century lecturer, suffragist, and poet, Matilda Fletcher Wiseman (1842-1909) and the men in her life: her brother, George W. Felts (1843-1921), a civil war solider who was later charged with murder, her first husband, John A. Fletcher (1837-1875), a school teacher and a lawyer, and her second husband, William Albert Wiseman (1850-1911), a minister who became her agent. Like her seven brothers who served in the Civil War, Matilda chose the public sphere. After the death of her only child, Matilda joined the lecture circuit. She spoke to support herself and her first husband, until his death. On the stage she spoke among other lecturers of her time, such as Susan B. Anthony.
Now I have to go order whatever of her work is still in print.
Angelina Weld Grimké
Snare of the shine of your teeth,
Your provocative laughter,
The gloom of your hair;
Lure of you, eye and lip;
And madness, madness,
Tremulous, breathless, flaming,
The space of a sigh;
Pain, regret‒your sobbing;
And again, quiet‒the stars,
Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958) was an African-American journalist, teacher, playwright and poet who was part of the Harlem Renaissance; she was one of the first African-American women to have a play publicly performed.
“El Beso” was first published in 1909 and became Grimké’s first widely anthologized poem. This lyric meditation expresses a sense of isolation and desire.