Greetings and Salubrious Salutations!
Walter here to welcome you to this edition of Tuesday Poetics! Around these parts, folks are so anxious to jettison spring that they declare Memorial Day (Decoration Day)… the end of May as the unofficial start of summer. Sure, temperatures are more… temperate (although somewhat unstable) and gives us this insatiable itch to go outdoors and do things. Even at that, a Western New York summer seems short-lived. And excuse me, but I don’t buy into the unofficial start of anything. I like it nice and neat! So today on what is the first full (official) day of the Summer of 2016, help me celebrate with a Poetic Pub Party.
The four seasons have always been great fodder for inspiration. Poets over the ages have given us much to ponder when the years transitions into another phase. One of my favorite exercises to spark my muse is reaching out to the work of others and finding words or lines to include as a title, line or epigraph for my new poem. I try to take this poem in a new direction, and not interpret or rewrite the original piece. It has given me some success in finding my voice in poems worth developing.
Take this wonderful piece by John Keats (a favorite poem of mine). In it he uses the seasons to correlate between the different phases of a persons life.
The Human Seasons
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness–to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
There is much to take away from his observations; so much inspiration in a concise poem. Each season opening a new window into the human condition.
Even more simple is this offering from Kobayashi Issa entitled “Summer Night”
even the stars
are whispering to each other.
~ Kobayashi Issa
Here, Issa gives a glimpse of a single moment expressed in vivid imagery. So you see, we can find much in the words and works of others. Here are some other “Summer” excerpts for your consideration:
From “Walt Whitman”
By Walt Whitman
I CELEBRATE myself;
And what I assume you shall assume;
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my Soul;
I lean and loafe at my ease,
observing a spear of summer grass.
From “Under the Harvest Moon”
By Carl Sandburg
Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.
From “The Waste Land”
by T.S. Eliot
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
From “Fat Southern Men in Summer Suits”
by Liam Rector, 1949 – 2007
Fat Southern men in their summer suits,
Usually with suspenders, love to sweat
Into and even through their coats,
Taking it as a matter of honor to do so,
Especially when the humidity gets as close
As it does each Southern summer
And finally here, by Nizar Qabbani, “In The Summer”:
In The Summer
In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
And followed me.
Our quest on this first day of the summer season, is to be inspired by a summer moment as seen through the eyes of another. Use something from above that sparks your mojo. Or find one that piques your own interest. Even a poem written by one of our compatriot pub patrons is fair game. I like highlighting the works of our “Partners in Rhyme”, and they seem to appreciate the spotlight as it shines upon them. Be sure to give credit to the line, poem and poet who has inspired you. Bask in the poetic glow (flip every 15 minutes and don’t forget the SPF).
And have a safe and happy summertime!
To join in:
• Write your poem and post it on your site.
• Copy and paste the direct URL to your poem in Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
• Return to the pub to read and comment on the poetry of your fellow poets. It’s important to us that you take the time to become a part of the community through your comments.
• Please provide a link to this site in your post and promote dVerse Poets Pub on social media venues in which you participate.