Thursday, September 06, 2007


This week, poetry showed up to offer me grant me some perspective with its inherent slowing down of time and space. When I read poetry, the world opens up--when I am writing it, the whole universe does. I have been up to both...poetry writing while my cup of tea cools at my side and the sky is, as my oldest child called it, a bowlful of spilled-sugar stars...poetry reading long after I should be asleep, legs curled up beneath me--listening to the fearful thrum of the last crickets' desperate trembling. It has become a state where everything is poetry to me. I think in couplets and breathe in broken my life right now, I find that I am deeply rooted in a place of "not-knowing"--of fear.

I am reading poems from writers who used to scare me off a bit--fierce academic poets, old pantheon men I tend to shy away from. Revisiting the textbooks to find once cherished treasures so-readily forgotten in recent years...ones like this:

From The Waste Land
by T.S. Eliot


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

My own writing from this week is just too raw to share today, even with the generous and talented community of Poetry Thursday--which has been placed in a bit of an unknown state as well. This leaves those of us who have opened up ourselves to poetry (at least) one day a week to be members of the traveling poetry show for now, a wonderful gypsy adventure. Still, I think of what a gift this is, truly, what a revolution, to commit to poetic Thursdays as we all have over the past year and beyond...if only we could get everyone else out there to indulge in poems once a week, what a world this would be! So, it is my hope that this road show will continue to move forward, landing wherever it needs to land, taking all of us right along with it. Speaking of week, on September 13th, our vagabond words will travel over to Carolee's blog: The Polka Dot Witch, where we will leave our links in response to the (as always) "completely and totally optional" idea.

Which is what exactly, you say? For this upcoming week, here it goes: Confront The Fear. Is there a form that frightens you? Try it. Does the idea of submitting a piece of your writing to a publication make your heart pound? Go for it anyway and be sure to share about it. Is it time you had a creative "coming-out" with that friend of yours or the boss at work? Give them one of your poems to read, go ahead...I dare you! Is reading aloud what makes you weak in the knees? Find a group to read to and face that anxiety head-on. Are you apprehensive about reading certain poets...crack the spine on that book anyway and see what lessons might be waiting for you there. Maybe your vice is perfectionism, defeat that fright by trying something like this intrepid soul did in her post here by setting up a spontaneous (poetry) writing booth (Natalie Goldberg-style) and creating poems on demand for curious strangers. If this idea is scaring you off, perhaps you could take inspiration from the line from T.S. Eliot's poem above, "I can show you fear in a handful of dust" and write about what you fear...or, why not? Go ahead and scare us with some chilling lines of your own. Take this idea anywhere you like, as long as you continue to share poetry this me, the only truly terrifying thing would be if you forgot to do that!

But first, be sure to leave a comment here about what you've done with the "free-for-all" week of poetry, now passed. Happy (Poetry) Thursday, everyone...

***Finally, just so I do not feel like one of those "bad" hostesses who purses her thin lips at the rowdy dinner guests and doesn't indulge in any of the metrical-fun, if you are truly in dire need of reading my poetry today (a-hem), you can go here, where two of my poems were published this week..."An Offering" and "Liquid Heart", hot off the back to that merriment, all of you. I insist.***


Blogger Dara said...

Thanks for hosting this week!

1:26 AM  
Anonymous This Girl Remembers said...

Here is one from me for this week.

Ooh, what a prompt for next week! It's a good thing we've got a whole week to ruminate, because I have no idea yet which way I'm going to go with it. I love the "writing on demand" idea, though I don't think I'll have the time (or the gumption) for that this week. Maybe someday soon, though!

Thanks for hosting the first installation of Travelling Thursday. :)

2:41 AM  
Anonymous joezul said...

Hi Delia,

Thanks for hosting and keeping PT live.

my entry:

Hope there'll be more people joining :)

3:37 AM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for hosting! We do need to post poetry on thursdays. It has got into out blood.

I like the prompt for next week.

Here is my offering for this Thursday:
Ode to Tiredness

3:42 AM  
Blogger Brittany Dennison said...

Thanks for keeping the tradition going! I had only just found out about P.T. Here's my contribution for this week:


3:59 AM  
Blogger odessa said...

Here's mine, not my own but an inspiration poem. And a little reflection of my relationship to poetry, which might also coincide with next week's prompt.

Thank you for hosting this week's vagabond poetry show!


4:01 AM  
Blogger odessa said...

ooops, the link above does not work. please try this one:
poetry thursday

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Thanks for hosting this week.

"Distant Memories" is my poem this week.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I think it's wonderful of you to host this first travelling edition of PT.
I have no submission (as yet) but I just wanted to say I was deeply touched by "Liquid Heart". Such a powerful poem. The tears are still flowing.
Also, I followed the links to your website. Congratulations, it's fantastic. I am feeling inspired, compelled even, to participate and submit an essay on this subject that is so present in my life.

'Confront The Fear' did you say? Feels like you're talking to me.


6:41 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Here is my offering
Imelda’s Thursday piece

Delia, thanks for hosting this week. And I loved those two poems of yours. "Liquid heart" especially touched mine. Powerful.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for hosting! I'm glad to see we're all sticking together, for a while.

Here is my post for this week!

7:53 AM  
Blogger Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Water usic

9:15 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

thank you very much for making this possible....

heres mine... its called...

"lost memories"

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Thank you for hosting this. I've been writing (nearly daily) poems for over a month. Here's today's:

9:46 AM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

Thanks, Delia, for hosting this week. I love the idea of a traveling poetry show!

Here's mine: Stop Me if You've Heard This One

9:48 AM  
Blogger LJCohen said...

Not a poem, but some thoughts about fear and writing.

Glad to keep the "PT" love going.

Poetry Thursday post

10:01 AM  
Blogger Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

THANK YOU for hosting this weeks Poetry Thursday!!

And Thanks to everyone for visiting!!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Your poems (the ones you linked to) are beautiful, Delia. And I love that you posted Eliot this week. I recently bought a copy of The Wasteland and Other Poems and am enjoying it.

You can find my Poetry Thursday post HERE.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

Until we again have a permanent Thursday site, thank you to those who are intervening! ;)

10:13 AM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

Oh, I see my http doesn't link from your site?

10:14 AM  
Blogger Gilson said...

Thanks for hosting! This poem is more about a question than an answer. It’s my humble contribution for this week.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Thanks for the traveling show.

10:42 AM  
Blogger January said...

I'm with Guatami, Thursdays are for poetry.

(And I agree with you about The Wasteland. Some poems are just intimidating, but maybe we're not ready for them--and maybe they're not ready for us. Good for you for re-reading a classic.)

Here's my poem this week:

Looking forward to next week's prompt.

10:50 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

Love seeing all of you sharing poetry on this Thursday...

Here is my post.

And, a big thanks to Delia for hosting this week!

11:06 AM  
Blogger Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

Thanks for hosting!

11:13 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

the prompt for next week ~ wonderful :) your poems, tears honey, so amazing! t.s. eliot, i've always had a weakness ...

here's my contribution to this week's traveling poetry show ...


11:15 AM  
Anonymous sbpoet said...

Love 5

11:26 AM  
Blogger Beloved Dreamer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Beloved Dreamer said...

I also see I can"t post my http to your blog so, to all: just hit my name.


12:15 PM  
Blogger Beloved Dreamer said...

Try link once more-bd

my poem

12:20 PM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

Thanks so much for hosting this week. Here's my link:

12:28 PM  
Blogger Fledgling Poet said...

Thank you so very much for playing host to Poetry Thursday this week. Due to time constraints, I'm posting an older poem that I wrote back when my blog was just my own "party for one" and I hadn't discovered these wonderful writing communities yet!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Dailysteps said...

My posting for this week Thanks for hosting!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Rambler said...

Thanks for keeping this going

Here's my contribution for the week
I call it voices in my head.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Thank you for hosting and sharing such beautiful poems.

Mine is up here


1:27 PM  
Anonymous split ends said...

Delia: Thanks for being a gracious hostess this week!

Here is my poem du jour.

I am very excited about next week's prompt...

1:31 PM  
Anonymous desert rat said...

The prompt just happens to tie in rather too well with my life at the moment. Here's mine for today:

Just before dawn

Thanks for playing host this week!

1:32 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I had first read The Wasteland for my PG degree in English. I still leaf through it.

1:56 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

delia - i have finally had time to visit your poems at the apple valley review...
they are both incredible, but it is the imagery in the second that rocked me a bit today. in a good way. in the way that poetry from the gut does.

thank you.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Antoine said...

Thanx for hosting the poetry journey. I have a bag of two poems with that i wanto share, hope u'll love them!

3:14 PM  
Blogger ...deb said...

Thanks for hosting the traveling poetry show, Delia. I'll be reading you all a bit later in the day.

Here's my link:

It's a revision (and a bit of a non-poetry rant, as fair warning.)

4:11 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks for hosting!

I've just started a new blog dedicated to poetry only:

4:27 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Delia, Thanks for hosting Poetry Thursday today. Here is a satirical poem Called "On Family Values" by a high school student from the WITS (Writers in the Schools) blog. It makes me laugh.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I'd be glad to host at Big Window, if that is the plan for now.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Here is mine today, albeit late...

5:25 PM  
Blogger danae sinclair said...

I hope you don't mind a newcomer?!

I love the prompt - its great to go outside of the comfort zone - for me its hard to let others see my writing so posting a poem on my blog is a huge step - its here:


5:25 PM  
Blogger Rethabile said...

Cheers everyone. Here's Thetsane blues

Good to see everyone. That means loads of fresh poems to read...

6:03 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and links...I posted this entry at midnight, then my Internet service promptly failed me (yet again). Now that I'm out at a wireless cafe, I can see I have some catching up to do on my poetry reading today! See you all next week, as well...

6:12 PM  
Blogger M Pritchard said...

I missed the last two Poetry Thursdays and didn't know what was going on when I went to the site and saw the entry about it being the last Poetry Thursday... I was a bit depressed until I saw that it was going to continue...Thanks for hosting. Here is my offering, barely in time but I think I'll just make it.

11:21 PM  
Blogger sister AE said...

I'm glad you were able to host this week. Here is my contribution.

12:49 AM  
Blogger wendy said...

I'm on (yet another) little no poem from me..but just wanted to thank you for hosting......

12:57 AM  
Blogger adi said...

what i fear most is my past, so here's a poem for today, for new beginnings...

take care

1:09 AM  
Blogger Antoine said...

Thanx for the poetry journey. I have a bag of two poems with me that i wanto share,hope u'll all love them. Breach of death has on fear u'll have to relate to.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

I have been thinking a lot about Poetry Thursday and how I'll miss this concept and my own poetry blog and what I want from it. I had planned on putting prompts up there every week anyway, for myself, for others, and I thought I'd share that with the group: in honor of Poetry Thursday, each Thursday I will put up some kind of a prompt in my own blog. Please feel free to drop by and leave a link to what you may generate from said prompt!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Jak said...

Love that I found your blog and was presently surprised by the idea of "Poetry Thursday". Disappointed to find out that its home is in doubt, but participating nonetheless. Glad such a good idea is going to keep on. If you need any help, please let me know. I am more than willing to help support the cause.

Here is my response to the prompt in regard to fear of speaking my poetry aloud in public. Still overcoming that. Enjoy: In him was life

Look forward to reading many of the responses.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Jak said...

oh, and of course, amazing selection for the example/inspiration. tse is the man. wonderful stuff.

1:52 PM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

Congratulations! Your newly published poems are so deserving!

My post...

3:41 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Great Traveling Poetry Show! Thanks!

Here's mine.

6:58 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

PS Look on My Uncle Pepek's link...

6:59 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

um...I just realized it's Friday....

Time flies whether you're having fun or not.

7:16 PM  
Blogger jonas said...

Just stumbled upon Poetry Thursdays from Jessica's 9 to 5 site, what a great community of poets! Congrats Delia on the recent publication. Thanks to all for sharing your work, fear not. Well hopefully this is not me really stretching the prompt, but here it is

8:55 PM  
Blogger giggles said...

Done on tuesday posted today!
What my Flowers told me

3:59 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

I only found poetry thursday a bit ago and am still getting into the habit, then I went to look and it seems its all gone? Whats happening can someone tell me?

9:36 PM  
Blogger SquareTraveler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Clockworkchris said...

thanks for hosting. Finally got back into writing. This is a direct link to the poem I like the most in the last week.

2:41 PM  

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