OK, it passed by without me noticing, much. Last Sunday I was daydreaming my way through the announcements at church (for some reason we do announcements at the end of the service, when people are already half-out of their seats, ready to leave) when I heard someone say they needed people to recite poetry for the talent show the youth is putting on. Well, I had kind of thought poetry recitals went out with the hoop skirt, but I said, yes, I can do that.
So find a poem you like and let me know.
I have the kind of mind that goes completely blank if asked to name a favorite writer, poem, color, or flavor of ice cream. I run to enthusiams. Everything changes, month to month, year to year, and going back along the trail to find what I have liked in the past is difficult. And there's the audience to think of, mostly parishoners and parents. Can't be anything really old, with words people can't catch or don't understand. One of my recent favorite poems, Thomas Gray's "On a Favorite Cat ,Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes", fell into the this category. Eventually, after working through Gerard Manley Hopkins "Spring" and Edwin Muir's "The Horses", I chose two poems.
The first is "Late Fragment" by Raymond Carver.
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
The second is a selection from "East Coker" by T.S. Eliot.
You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again,
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
(Coincidently, perhaps, I recently re-read Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock, which is partly based on this poem.)