“Remember when shadows played
because there were leaves in the wind?
And people came to our door from a land
where stories were real?
Barefood we traveled the roads
all summer. At night we drew pictures
of home with smoke from the chimney.
And we frowned when we read,
so we could understand.”
the Way It Is; Graywolf Press ( Stories That Could be True;
Harpercollins is also excellent, there is some overlap of poems)
and John Koethe’s North Point North; Harpercollins, some poems
I love. some not so much, I found two the two accounts of childhood
I have used in this post. I have been asked why I like poetry so much
and while reflecting on these choices I came up with the following.
I enjoy the brevity of poems. the beautiful language and imagery,
their ability to change direction, the freedom from the restrictions
of (good) fiction like plot, continuity, characterization, point of view.
Poetry on the other hand easily weaves together memory, sensory
experience, moods, descriptions, sounds, disparate phrases, points
of view, changes in tone, dialogue into an instrument that closely
mimics the way our mind interacts with the world around it, with
all our changing moods, flashes of memory or nostalgia, moments
of despair or of epiphany. I see the best poems not as fictional
narratives but as vessels in which the feelings, the memories,
the observations and experiences of both the poet and the reader
combine to allow the reader to examine the world and their
from From the Porch
by John Koethe
“As though one’s childhood were a small midwestern town
Some forty years ago, before the elm trees died.
September was a modern classroom and the latest cars,
That made a sort of futuristic dream, circa 1955.
The earth was still uncircled. You could set your course
On the day after tomorrow. And children fell asleep
To the lullaby of people murmuring softly in the kitchen,
While a breeze rustled the pages of Life magazine,
And the wicker chairs stood empty on the screened-in porch.”