these fragments i have shored against my ruin
"april is the cruellest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain."
as a farewell to april i offer t.s. eliot's famous words. i read "the wasteland" again last night and it took me back to last year around this time when i was studying obsessively for my master's exam and memorizing bits of poetry like those first lines until they are stuck forever in my heart.
and now i get to read poetry of my choosing and whenever i like with ultimate and overwhelming freedom, and to my heart's content.
it's fun because i find synchronicities and concurrences,
"and this last blessing most,
that the closer i move
to death, one man through his sundered hulks,
the louder the sun blooms,
and the tusked, ramshackling sea exults;
and every wave of the way
and gale i tackle, the whole world then,
with more triumphant faith
than ever was since the world was said,
spins its morning of praise."
"heart, have no pity on this house of bone:
shake it with dancing, break it down with joy.
no man holds mortgage on it; it is your own;
to give, to sell at auction, to destroy.
when you are blind to moonlight on the bed,
when you are deaf to gravel on the pane,
shall quavering caution from the house instead
cluck forth at summer mischief in the lane?
all that delightful youth forbears to spend
molestful age inherits, and the ground
will have us; therefore, while we're young, my friend--
the latin's vulgar, but the advice is sound.
youth have no pity; leave no farthing here
for age to invest in compromise and fear."
so the point is....down with caution, forbearance and restraint!
give me youth, life, vibrance, exuberance, extravagance!
the louder the sun blooms!
shake it with dancing!
and then it delights me to suddenly remember this, from t.s. eliot:
"i grow old....i grow old....
i shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
shall i part my hair behind? do i dare to eat a peach?
i shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
i have heard ther mermaids singing, each to each."
the same story, the same embracing of absurdity; i think they all have the same point and the point is LIFE. and the more living, the more aging, the more liveliness, the more beauty. if i ever even begin to worry about aging these are fragments i can shore against my ruin.
and i also have to remember this, that ferlinghetti says the poet is "constantly risking absurdity," and then he makes a circus of words to tumble through the mind and upset everything and prove his point:
"for i am a still
i am a bank of song.
i am a playerpiano
in an abandoned casino
on a seaside esplanade
in a dense fog
ahhhhh...poetry slays me through the soul, wringing my heart with the purest grip of life. risk, passion, rebellion. or as sylvia plath would say it makes me listen to the old brag of my heart, i am. i am. i am.
now i must go forward and write and join this confounding carnival of language, because "we have lingered in the chambers of the sea / by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown / till human voices wake us, and we drown."
i will go drown myself in words.
okay, but lastly i will leave you with this today, this last day of april, on the cusp of everything wide-eyed and new that will be happening in may.
i am enamored by this song which i originally found here in this enchanting fairyland. did any of you ever see this series as a child? i regret to say i did not but it still gives me the loveliest nostalgic feeling...maybe because i really really want to live that country cottage life.
and read and write poetry all day.