Friday, April 11, 2008

It Is National Poetry Month, After All

(Cue the violins) I took 20 minutes from my 11-hour work day today to submit a piece to Prairie Home Companion's sonnet contest . The deadline is still a couple of hours away if you're so inclined. I imagine rows and rows of members of the Professional Organization of English Majors reading sonnets all night, culling the best of the best. Will I (sigh, gasp) be among them? There are thousands upon thousands of submissions, so I know that my chances of being recognized are slim to none, but I'm still going to be listening tomorrow night, just in case.


Axtell Cattle Brand
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
My uncle sent me this photo of our family brand, pointing out that it's not just the Flying Triangle that distinguishes our chattel, but a left ear slit (eew) as well. I don't think I'll be able to rise to his challenge of incorporating it into the graphic identity of this blog, however I love the admonition to "carry the card in a safe place." Heaven forfend errant cattle or their owners are caught without the proper documentation!


Happy Birthday, Don!


I wore sandals for the first time this year yesterday. This evening, we ate dinner on the deck. I know we need rain, but these next few weeks are going to be glorious.


I leave you with one of my favorite poems ever, Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas:

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.


At 7:24 AM, April 13, 2008, Blogger elm said...

We listened to PHC last night, and did not hear your poem. Sorry. The poems were good, funny. How about sharing your poem with us?

At 6:44 AM, April 14, 2008, Blogger Rebecca said...

I *love* that Dylan Thomas poem, too.
And I blew it - I didn't submit my sonnet!!! Good for you for doing it, Pointy Pal!


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