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Archive for December, 2007

Sunday morning

For me, it isn’t who shows up in my life but what untimely dream I wander into.

Jody Gladding

This morning we began with registration and went into faculty interviews, a lecture and a workshop. My workshops this week will be with Robin Behn and Roger Weingarten. We are each assigned into a group with two poets for the week. They will critique my poems on Jan. 6.

Roger has a gift for taking a poem, cutting out what isn’t necessary, playing with the language and rearranging the poem so that it rises from the page and becomes a great poem. It isn’t as muddy as it was before. Here is part of one of his favorite poems:

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There was the spirit of honest inquiry, the spirit of hospitality, to new light and truth from any quarter, the spirit of understanding which sees all life as one and that every truth must live at peace with every other. (motto, Vermont College)

It occurred to me on the shuttle ride from the airport last night that Vermont is French for green mountain. I must be in the green mountain state.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

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Top 10 favorites

Someone sent me a comment today asking what my top 10 favorite poems are. As we approach the end of the year, it seemed like a good idea to do a final round up.

Of late ….

1. Love at First Sight by Wislawa Szymborska (Dec. 14);
2. Gradually It Occurs to Us by Marvin Bell (Nov 11 poem);
3. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (Dec. 15);
4. The Floating Poem Unnumbered by Adrienne Rich (Dec. 16);
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Brigit Kelly is one of the poets I will be working with in Vermont next week. When I saw her name, I had to laugh. I have a long history with the name Brigit. It is a kind of nickname the nuns have given me.

Brigit (or Brigid, 451-525) was an Irish saint who lived in Kildare, Ireland. Kildare means “church of the oak” and is a place I have visited several times. The Kelly clan in Ireland was the tribe who helped guard Brigid and the people in the town. My ex-husband was a Kelly.

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For everything there is a season. And there is a time for every event under heaven —

A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
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When I was a little girl, I was an Idgy. How I grew up to be a Ruth I’ll never know. I suppose it’s a result of good Southern training. That movie seemed to call to me today, and once again I became engrossed in the story of the bee charmer from Alabama.

In Tennessee where I grew up there were 30 oak trees in our backyard. My father built my brother and I each a tree house. And my brother was every bit as charming as Buddy Threadgood.

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