Sunday, September 07, 2008

And Thoreau Must Be Credited For One More Blog Entry

Emily, so glad to know you are also a Thoreau fan. Anyone else out there? What are your favorite quotes?

Oh, and just as a sidenote, I got to meet the amazing Emily in person last week at my friend, Edge's, birthday party. It's such fun when I get to make my pretend-internet friends into my real friends. And she is even nicer in person than online. *Waving* Hi, Emily!

So, I have been reading a lot of poetry lately -- Ted Kooser, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wordsworth, Dickinson...

And I came across this little poem by Thoreau that I had never read:

My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.

Just perfect, isn't it? I have written bits and pieces in a similar vein -- lines about wanting to live my life with the candor, care and caprice with which a poet chooses each word, lines reminding myself that I will have no poetry to write if I do not choose to truly LIVE my life right now.

But, poetry is a bit of a disease for me. Or a tick. Writing a poem or two each week is almost involuntary. I just can't help myself.

This blog, however, is an entirely different matter. Sometimes I feel like writing here, sometimes I just think I ought to shut it down for good and stop pretending to be a blogger. As for posts about my life and the goings-on of our family (though I know this is what many of you come here to read) I often feel to write a la Thoreau:

My life has been the blog I would have writ,
But I could not both live and publish it.

These days it seems I only come here when I have something to say or something strikes my fancy. I hope you will forgive my lack of cute kid pictures and newsiness. I'll get to it eventually.

Until then, I'm busy trying to live my poems and blog posts and to write poems that will hopefully be good and poems that are just silly and probably will never go anywhere -- like this snippet I wrote at 2am last week in the middle of a VERY long poem that turned out to be positively dreadful when I read it the next morning.

But I think this part's a keeper at least for the fact that it makes me chuckle:

I could believe entirely
each theory of evolution --

That man descends from ape
cannot cram its way inside my head
though I have witnessed many modern men
who seem intent on proving the claim
by making it clear that the transition
isn’t universally complete.

I hope you are all well. By the way, I have been considering sort of merging this and my (now defunct and even more neglected) poetry blog. Would any of you be interested in having a "Poetry Tuesday" or something like that where I post a poem I am liking each week?


Brightonwoman said...

I went to the woods because i wanted to live completely. I wanted to breathe deep and suck out all the marrow of life, and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.
(I may have missed a word or two in's the one they quote in Dead Poet's Society)
My other favorite Thoreau quote says something about "I'd rather sit on a pumpkin of my own than sit on a borrowed velvet pillow"

Rynell said...

I am fan of Thoreau and of poetry.

Brillig said...

Hey!!! I haven't been here (or anywhere) in ages! But I just had to stop in and tell you that yes, I love the idea!

diana said...

Love your poem. It made me chuckle too.

Sorry I can't contribute any Thoreaus for you... I can't say that I know any by heart.

I'm not worthy!