So, for Christmas I bought myself A Year With Rilke --
Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke.
This was partly inspired, I'm sure, by a good friend who recently had a baby named Rainer.
But also, I wanted to see what it felt like to read a little bit of somebody, everyday, all year long.
And what if that someone was Rilke?
I'm a person who really needs a practice -- yoga, writing -- to keep from spinning myself into the air like a top or into the ground like an ice auger. And sure enough, this book seems to be a steadying force -- anticentrifugal, if you will -- before bed each night.
Poetry Friday is like that, I think, on a weekly basis. Each Friday we meet at someone's house, saying very little but exchanging poems to read while we drink our morning coffee or our afternoon tea. By the end of the exchange I, for one, am breathing differently. More deeply and with greater ease. I've never hosted Poetry Friday before and I'm so happy to today. Pull up a chair or a cushion. There are hot drinks on the counter and half-and-half in the fridge. Read all you'd like and let yourself out when you're finished. Brighten. Wallow. Enjoy.
(Those of you who know me know that something as newfangled as Mr. Linky is waaaaay beyond me, so we'll be doing this the old-fashioned way today: Leave your link in the comments and I'll gather them together a few times throughout the day, amending this post as needed. Thanks for coming by...)
And, to kick things off, a line or two from Rilke:
As you unfold as an artist, just keep on, quietly and earnestly, growing through all that happens to you. You cannot disrupt this process more violently than by looking outside yourself for answers that may only be found by attending to your innermost feeling.
-- Rainer Maria Rilke
Paris, February 17, 1903
Letters to a Young Poet
John Mutford dropped by with a review of a book of -- my favorite! -- Japanese haiku!
Our own Father Goose came to read some original work-in-progress wordplay.
Dear Mary Lee over at A Year in Reading is feeling bright again -- hurrah! -- and she shares Joy and a sunflower with us all.
After having a bit of honey toast with Mary Lee, Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning wants us to join her on The Swing -- and why not?
And then let's sit with my friend Tanita S. Davis, aka author of Mare's War, aka Coretta Scott King Honor winner (!!!), and have some fruit compote and mull over the strange balance our bodies strike when faced with, yes, happiness.
That's all for now. I'll tidy up, wash the mugs and be ready for the rest of you around breakfast time!
The lovely Laura Salas, who gets more done before her eggs cool than the rest of us do in any whole day, brings us an original piece about a 3rd grade spelling test trauma. And she invites us all to her weekly 15 Words or Less poetry party! AND (see what I mean about her overacheiving??) she's also done the good work of creating a clearinghouse for all, regular, online poetry prompts. How great is that?
Meanwhile, Carol at Carol's Corner brings us some sweet nostalgia via a lovely Linda Pastan poem and the cutest darn picture of a bicycle you've ever seen.
Shelfelf follows up with some spare and wintery beauty by Anne Porter. Read it aloud. It's very, very fine that way.
Keeping with the winter theme, Diane Mayr at Random Noodling (I so love the name of that blog) shares an original haiga and a gorgeous photo and an inspiring quote by Katherine Hepburn! She also wants us to know about her geology-poetry book review at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet and a quote by Shelly at Kurious K's Kwotes! (Diane is apparently as productive as Laura Salas. Sheesh!)
Jeannine Atkins leads our breakfast bookclub discussion of a novel in verse that I think I must get immediately. (Her review is like a little poem itself...)
And speaking of a little poem, The Write Sisters share a strikingly beautiful sentiment from Charlotte Bronte this morning.
Then my own sister-of-sorts, the dear and lovely Sara Lewis Holmes, pops in with a breakfast surprise. No, not pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, but almost! She has done a serious blush-worthy post about (seriously, you guys, I'm kind of embarrassed) Me! And she includes a poem I posted quite awhile back. She will be hugged and severely chastised when I see her next week at a conference here in Austin. Squee!!
Thank goodness Karen Edmisten comes along next (diverting Sara Lewis Holmes attention -- sheesh!) with the always, always warm and wonderful Billy Collins.
And Ms. Mac with the equally wonderful and inspiring Ms. Dickinson. (There's also a call to action there that I should think noone worth their salt could ignore!)
I have a mid-morning commitment now, friends, so I'll dart off and continue rounding up later. There's plenty here to nibble on for now, I assure you!
We're back! Pull up a stool, grab some hummus and pita and a lemonade and enjoy!!
Thanks for coming, Miss Rumphius (aka Tricia) and for sharing a lovely Philip Pardi poem and a great blog recommendation!
Oh, and you, too, Jama (of Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup). Jama brought her teddy bears and some onions and a poem by Roy Blount Jr. and her always generous effervescence. Natch.
Now here comes Sylvia of Poetry for Children, and this might just get some of us into trouble at the bookstore! She's got a sneak-peek list of lots of the poetry books we can expect to see in 2010. Lust and hunger, hunger and lust!
Poet Kristy Dempsey adds a pot of soup to our lunch buffet -- her own wonderful and simple soup. Have some -- I did, and I feel better already.
Elaine Magliaro is a constant on Fridays -- lucky for all of us! Today she brings us poems about eating (how appropriate, at lunchtime!) and more books to look forward to, at Wild Rose Reader, and a poem about writing (how appropriate, on Poetry Friday!) at Blue Rose Girls.
Then, to remind us of the big, wide world outside Cloudscome arrived with a found poem she created using words and phrases from President Obama. It's like a meal in and of itself.
But don't get overwhelmed because here's The Simple and the Ordinary with a poem about Jack and the Beanstalk, magic beans and all.
Madelyn Rosenberg says she's "seasonally confused" but thank goodness for that because she brings us a Sherman Alexie poem, an Ole Risom poem, and one of her own, all of which I'd enjoy summer, spring, winter or fall...
Next, from TheTeachingBooks.net blog we're given a fictional verse memoir (who knew there was such a thing?) by Carole Boston Weatherford and a really great audio link.
You guys didn't think we'd have a whole day of poetry and not invite William Shakespeare, did you? Pour yourself another glass of lemonade and welcome Becky who has come with The Bard himself -- Manga Style! (Seriously!) (Another one in the "who knew?!?!" category!)
And Jennie at Biblio File, welcome to you, too! Jennie gets us back in bookclub mode with some dust bowl reviews -- including Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust. And she mulls over whether its award-winning status transcends time. I gotta say, I think it does. But then I'm a huge fan of the verse novel.
I think I may go read one (Love that Dog, maybe?) until this afternoon's tea time update. Must tidy up the lunch dishes, now. Ta-ta!
TEA-TIME (aka COCKTAIL HOUR) VISITS:
Cha-cha-cha, people. Just in time for Friday evening, PaperTigers stops by with poems from the Carribean.
Enjoy those, and then have a seat and enjoy a Byronic conversation with Semicolon! Put your feet up. Take your time. It's the end of a long week...
Poetry Friday -- Right Here, Folks! C'mon In!
So, for Christmas I bought myself A Year With Rilke --