Saturday, July 2, 2011

Try (Something New)

July 2, 2011

After I finish this post, I'm going to squeeze into the closet where I keep Erin's American flag (the one that flew over the capital on her birthday in 2006) and put it out to start the holiday weekend.

Yesterday, I watched this TED video talk by Matt Cutts, called Try Something New for 30 Days.  I have seen people do thirty day challenges on Facebook--giving up sugar or taking photographs, but until I listened to Cutts explain what you might get out of such an endeavor, I wasn't moved to try.  

I sent the talk to Davis to gather his thoughts.  We mulled it over.  Walter, my mom, and I considered the possibilities during happy hour last night.  If you know Walter at all, you know what his suggestion for the next 30 days was, but instead, I decided on a poetry challenge (not writing, reading).  So, until the end of July, I am going to read at least one poem each day.  

I'm not exactly sure what that will entail.  I have never been entirely comfortable with poetry (especially the way I was taught in public school).  I do think, however, I may be missing out on something if I don't give it a shot.  I can't say I even know where to begin.  This is where I need your help.  

I would love your suggestions.  You don't have to start with haikus just to make it easy on me, but likewise, I'm probably not up to tackling Beowulf or Leaves of Grass straight out of the gate either.  If you have something that you think I should add to my list send the title and poet to me (hopefully, I can find a link online, if I don't already have it on my scant poetry shelf.).  I will add a column on my left bar to let you know what I have tried.

Thank you.


  1. My good friend (and future book editor) Sheila Black is a very talented poet. Her Love/Iraq is a powerful collection. I would also recommend the collections Sweet Ruin by Tony Hoagland and Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream by Connie Voisine. I can let you borrow them if you like - pop them in the mail today?

  2. I just sent you 5 poems, 5 of my very favorite poems, poems that keep me sane in moments of frustration, poems that remind me what i am doing this for. The cool thing about the 5 poems I sent, I also included links to where you can hear the poet reading each one. :)

  3. Thanks so much to both of you for the new sweet treats!

  4. One of my favourites: "Love after Love" by Derek Walcott.


  5. Heard this at a recent Celebration of Life for a dear friend's daughter:

    It is lovely.

  6. "The White Birds," by W.B. Yeats; "An Awful Tempest Mashed the Air," by Emily Dickinson.

  7. I absolutely loved & appreciated the video.

    Here is one of my favorite poems. Do you read French? If not, I can recommend another. (This one is by Victor Hugo)

    Demain, dès l'aube...

    Demain, dès l'aube, à l'heure où blanchit la campagne,
    Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends.
    J'irai par la forêt, j'irai par la montagne.
    Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

    Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
    Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
    Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
    Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

    Je ne regarderai ni l'or du soir qui tombe,
    Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
    Et quand j'arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
    Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.