Monday, April 25, 2011

My Spring Confession

I don’t read poetry much, but that’s not because I don’t like it. I love poetry, poetry is my religion. But after reading one poem—presuming it’s a good one—I find myself filled with awe and admiration for the poet, the poem…and life. Then I stop reading.

Can I put it more simply than that? I don’t think so.

I picked up a copy of Alan Dugan’s new and complete poems this afternoon in the shop at Ridgedale Library. One dollar for a National Book Award winner, Poems Seven—How could I resist? A few hours later, after I’d finished editing an article about revolutionizing the World Bank, made a bowl of tzatziki (the cucumber was definitely over the hill), downed a glass of cheap red wine, and listened to a few minutes of Darius Milhaud’s Saudades do Brazil, I opened Dugan’s book and read the first poem. “This Morning Here.”

It was everything a poem should be. Brief, descriptive, cosmic, and very down-to-earth. So much so, that I had to put the book aside. I want to read more of Duggan’s work…someday. Maybe later tonight.

Then I got to thinking about the remarkable thing I’d seen today—the leaves on the honeysuckle bush. They opened. I watched them all day. This morning they were nascent. Now they’re bona fide. I can see them out the window beyond the computer screen even now. And just beyond them, I see the robust red orbs of the maple seed clusters. They almost look like blossoms, though they’re not. But shaggier than yesterday. As “orbs,” they’re past the prime.

I spoke with a client today who’s turning sixty. Two of her sons are getting married this year. And she’s going on a “girl thing” with some college friends of the same age to celebrate the occasion. That’s beautiful.

Then there’s the patch of wild ginger near the trellis by the garage. I’d never seen it before, where did it come from? And a few stray scilla—deep blue—amid the periwinkle, which are just beginning to flower. This is the time of year when a single day can make an enormous difference. It’s kind of thrilling.

But of course, every day is sort of like that. If nothing else comes to mind, crack open a book of poems.

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