The last blog before our summer break was written by BPS member Connie Pompilii. Connie is also an artist, and the creator of the lovely, summery pictures accompanying the blog.
The arrival of June brings with it a gentle reminder to enjoy the simple things. Whether it’s having a cup of coffee on the front porch, reading a book under a shaded tree, or walking in the park, June, like poetry, is full of many treasures just waiting to be discovered.
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words” — Mark Twain
Over the holidays I have been thinking about my involvement in the arts over the years. I have been a visual artist and art teacher for many years, and have turned to poetry within the last decade. My experience teaches me that the imagined accolades I have at the beginning of a project do not necessarily materialize at the end of the undertaking. There is a hollow feeling that follows the months or years of daily focus on a creative project that some people have compared to postpartum depression.
So what is an artist to do? Well, creating art is a part of the life we chose, or, for some of us who have come to art later in life, creating art is something that we are newly in the process of forging. Either way, we should enjoy the journey, enjoy the pleasure and joy of being in the moment, of exploring, of creating something that never existed, something no one else could have brought into the world but ourselves. No amount of monetary reward compares to watching a person react, perhaps a stranger moved to tears, by something you, the artist, have created.
The creative life after all is about discovering the artist within, whether as a painter, a poet, a dancer, or a musician. It is about paying attention to the spiritual experience the inner and outer worlds offer.
I leave you with a quote by M.C. Richards:
“Appreciating poetry is probably like appreciating anything else. It means having the generosity to let a thing be what it is, the patience to know it, a sense of the mystery in all living things, and a joy in new experience.”
No poet coined such a stone of a word, a blotch of ink that we invite others to step in so they can seep the world from our colour. Feet in ink. A bodiless soup and swimming.
What would e.e. cummings do with the word “blog”? Perhaps something like this:
the bodiless blanket lets me sleep, it is my bed, my waking, the warmth that pulls me from the hushed hello of all darkness and creaking forest mystery, to the tinkering tatatata of eyelashes brushing day, of you and wonder and word and yes and word and yes…bodiless blog of thinking, trying to catch the river in its net of words to say: “here here here… is beauty, is living, is the never-again-crystalized moment of wonder.” Where we meet has always been sacred space.
The Brooklin Poetry Society … and all places where poets, writers, artists, lovers meet is sacred space. My hope is that we all venture into such sacred space. It graces us with a kind of divine presence and sharing that together is beautiful.
I joined the BPS I forget when now which is a comforting thought, like so many family visits: you forget who brought the casserole two years ago.
It is my first poetry club and this, my first blog.
New beginnings, the pushing of new growth through crusty bark, stiff limbs, dormant heavy soil, feeling newness leak in… a kind of calling that says you can grow, you can be more. Poetry is like that too. Poetry is April.
I suppose you could say poetry is the raspberry that sings like opera in your mouth in June… the room that keeps you warm in winter, the letting-go leaf that shows time has come in Autumn. So alas, poetry is for all seasons, all reasons and why not especially now, in the surge of Spring?
April will ask us to heed new voices, new branches, to let go of what is past, and to flower each and every one of us in whatever colour/shape/size/space we come upon; let us flower.
We always welcome new members to the BPS, perhaps this will be the April of our Club too. And April is #National Poetry Month.
And the first step to celebrate that is with our own feet, our voices, our attention, our own participation.
Check out the League of Canadian Poets for events:
For this month’s blog, we here at Brooklin Poetry Society took an online look at poems written about the month of February. There were the inevitable poems about Valentine’s Day, and even one about February 29th, that elusive extra day. There were poems written by Boris Pasternak, Anne Bronte, Hilaire Belloc, Denise Levertov, Coleridge, and Margaret Atwood (to name just a few).
For those of us living in Canada, February can be bleak. Snow, cold, sometimes sleet, or an endless number of grey and cloudy days. But there’s always poetry. And there’s always time to fall into poetry in a way that is similar to falling in love.
So while the snow may fall around you, or your thoughts may turn to that special someone, we challenge you to spend some time falling into poetry. What poems will you fall in love with?