Friday, March 28, 2014


Man alive, that mournst thy lot,
Desiring what thou hast not got,
Money, beauty, love, what not;

Deeming it blesseder to be
A rotted man, than live to see
So rude a sky as covers thee;

Deeming thyself of all unblest
And wretched souls the wretchedest,
Longing to die and be at rest;

Know: that however grim the fate
Which sent thee forth to meditate
Upon my enviable state,

Here lieth one who would resign
Gladly his lot, to shoulder thine.
Give me thy coat; get into mine.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Prose and Poetry

This blog is titled "Mostly Poetry," but for more than a year now it's been "Mostly Not Poetry."  I simply haven't had time to discover new poets and new poems.  The poetry that has become part of my soul, of which I've shared much here, remains there and informs and shapes my days and my life.  I was happy today to come cross a new poem by one of my favorite poets.  It's about where the line is between prose and poetry.

The timing of finding this was interesting for me because I find more and more as I become busier and busier with work as a tenured professor (not just the busyness of teaching and grading and planning but also that of involvement in the politics and structure of the college, committees, grant work, etc.) that I have to work harder to find ways to make my life poetic rather than prosaic - a hard thing to do when time becomes more and more limited.  

It's interesting as well how these changes in life take place on a spectrum on which it is hard to determine when a change has actually occurred.  More and more in recent months I want to remember how to "fly," and I find I have forgotten.  So this poem has hit me at a number of different levels.

So, without further ado, and whether you asked or not, here it is:

Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned into pieces of snow
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn't tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

Howard Nemerov