Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Poem A Day, Week Two

The Old Gumbie Cat - T.S. Eliot (Tuesday)
I memorized this poem in sixth grade when I found it in a book of Eliot's collected works, just because I liked it. This stood me in good stead when a couple months later one of my teachers assigned everyone to memorize and recite a poem I was already prepared. I would like to note that I memorized this poem years before it was set to music, while a couple of my classmates just recited songs.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot (Wednesday)
The same person who wrote cat poems for children also wrote this and Murder in the Cathedral! I read this poem over and over in college, and used a few lines as an epigraph for a short story I wrote for a class, and I'm still sympathetic to Prufrock's paralysis, wanting to urge him to break out of it.

Funeral Blues - W.H. Auden (Thursday)
Gareth reads this poem at the funeral of the title in Four Weddings and a Funeral. After I saw this film, I went to the library to check out an Auden poetry collection because this poem wasn't in my Norton Anthology. They were all gone, and the library whom I spoke with said it was because of the movie. I found it in an anthology of modern English poets, and copied it onto a piece of paper which I keep tucked into the appropriate place in my Norton's.

Foxtrot Fridays - Rita Dove (Friday)
No matter what else is going on, dancing makes me happy.

The Waking - Theodore Roethke (Saturday)
My favorite part of the day is the first few minutes after getting in bed, feeling the mattress absorb the energy of my body. I also enjoy the first few minutes of waking, when I'm just conscious enough to realize I'm awake but not conscious enough to move and start waking in earnest.

O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie - Philip Appleman (Sunday)
When I worked at the drug treatment program, I participated in a discussion with my coworkers about what it would be like if all the jerks were suddenly nice one day, and all the nice people acted like jerks, sort of giving them a taste of what it was like to deal with them. This is the sort of thing you think about when you're surrounded by people going through withdrawal. When I was withdrawing from Vicodin after the car wreck, I was probably a jerk. I know that when I was awake, I felt irritable.

The Green Street Mortuary Marching Band - Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Monday)
I always think it's fun to recognize locations in cities I read about or see in movies. I wonder if anyone has jazz funerals in San Francisco anymore.

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