Tuesday, July 8, 2008

43: Gratitude

Good morning, all. It has grown chilly and my one sweatshirt will stink by week's end, but I don't mind. I am in the woods and all else falls away except the beauty of the natural world and the beauty of the written (and spoken) word.

One of our assignments is to create an anthology of poetry (20-30 pieces) you love and to write an introduction to it. I've decided to sift through some favorites, find new ones, and thematically link them as poems of gratitude or small blessings. I'm intensely interested in capturing the small moments in life, but also in how we process joy in a difficult world.

I've only just begun, this morning, to collect, so it is small, and there are many ideas shooting around, but for now:

- "Lucky Life" by Gerald Stern (Thank you, Eireann)
- "A Blessing" by James Wright
- "Love Like Salt" by Lisel Mueller
- "Ode to Salt" by Pablo Neruda

Do you see how the path has begun to wind? The elementary odes of Neruda seem to be perfect for this, but I can't just roll about with Neruda, no matter how much I love that simplicity and celebration. I am thinking of "This is Just to Say" to then continue on that vein, the celebration of taste (O Taste and See, yes, Karen?). I suppose what I'm looking for are poems that simply turn away from that frustration and angst (Oh, "Bathing the Newborn" by Sharon Olds would be perfect) and focusing on the joy of the everyday.

So. Two things:
1/ Any suggestions are appreciated.
2/ If you would like me to email you a copy of said assignment when I am done, because the idea of poems on gratitude make you happy, leave a comment and I'll be sure to pass it along.

Happy morning, all. I'm going to go embrace another day of poetry, and, as always, report back. xo


shari said...

my suggestion would be mary oliver's "invitation" from red bird. and of course, you know i want a copy of your assignment. i have started to collect my favorite poems. i want to type them all out using my vintage typewriter (to feel the language choices). i have no idea why i have been putting this off.

Karen said...

Maybe Arthur Sze, The Shapes of Leaves (it can be found on poets.org). I'd like to receive the assignment too. : )

lisa s said...

totally cliche, but something by williams carlos williams

EWH said...

"This is Just to Say" is definitely in my top ten list of all time favorite poems, and one of only a few I know by heart. There's beauty in such everyday honest sentiments. Good choice, friend.

I love good old E.D., so I'd say "Gratitude--is not the mention" might be an okay addition.

(And of course I would love an emailed copy :-))

Mozart Guerrier said...

Sorry, can't think of anything. Just wanted to say Lisel Mueller is a phenomenal writer. that is all. good luck with your project.