Saturday, April 23, 2011

Green in the marshes

The First Green of Spring

Out walking int he swamp picking cowslip, marsh marigold
this sweet first green of spring. Now sauteed in a pan melting
top a deeper green than ever alive, this green, this life,

harbinger of things to come. Now we sit at the t table munching
on this message from the dawn which says we and the world
are alive again today; and this is the world's birthday. And

even though we know we are growing old, we are dying, we
will never be young again, we also know we are right here
now, today, and my oh my, don't these greens taste good?

David Budbill

I didn't mean to post two poems on Thursday but did and so yesterday didn't post an additional one.

I am reading a book called Rapt by Winifred Gallagher which is about paying attention -- close, sometimes enraptured attention -- to things. That, of course, is what so many poets do, that is the point of the last line. Gallagher says studies suggest that as people get older they learn to pay closer attention to the things that make everyday life a pleasure -- partly because older people have passed the stage of high ambition that young people have, and also do not have the acute distraction of a full house of kids and and family concerns. This is, of course, a broad generalization, but I think there is truth in it -- at least if the person has avoided getting glued to the distractions of television and dependence upon media input for his/her stimulation.

The oldest member of my writing class often writes 400 word pieces that are very incisive with a few carefully observed details that are like shiny, but not glitzy, jewels perfectly capturing the attention. Yesterday it was mention of jonquils beside the mail box and I see them still. She has a poet's economy of narration.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- In general I agree with what you say in your post. I do think, however, that paying attention is a developed skill of sorts. Not necessarily something that comes with age. good post -- barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara, I totally agree it can be developed -- and people who've tried meditation would certainly agree. The book I'm reading emphasized an increased attentional ability as one grows older.