Friday, July 11, 2008

Poetry Friday

Have I mentioned Poetry Friday here before? If not, I'll tell you a little bit about it. Every Friday, bloggers devote their blog posting to the subject of poetry. It could be posting an original poem, issuing a poetry challenge, sharing a technique or a favorite book of poetry. Many of the Poetry Friday bloggers participate in a Round-Up where the host blog mentions the various postings. Today, the Round-Up is hosted by Under the Covers, the blog of writer Lisa Chellman. I've been participating in Poetry Friday at my library blog, but I haven't yet participated in the Round-Up. I'm hoping the Write Sisters will decide to become participants in Poetry Friday, too, and that one day we will be brave enough to add our blog to the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

So, to get the ball rolling, I'm going to recommend a book that perhaps, if you're a writer, you've already read. It's Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. I've only recently picked it up for the first time and found that it is, as the synopsis on the Barnes & Noble site says, "a classic that should be read by everyone who dreams of expressing themselves creatively."

Here's a taste of what in store for you if you decide to purchase or borrow it from your local library (you can also read it in any number of places on the internet):

from letter 6:
What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours--that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grown-ups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn't understand a thing about what they were doing.

from letter 9:
And about feelings: All feelings that concentrate you and lift you up are pure; only that feeling is impure which grasps just one side of your being and thus distorts you. Everything you can think of as you face your childhood, is good. Everything that makes more of you than you have ever been, even in your best hours, is right. Every intensification is good, if it is in your entire blood, if it isn't intoxication or muddiness, but joy which you can see into, clear to the bottom. Do you understand what I mean?

Rilke often mentions childhood, which is probably part of these letters' appeal to me, a writer for children.

There are only ten letters, so don't think you'll have to devote hours to reading. Read just one letter a day--it won't take long, and I don't think you'll regret it!

To learn a little about Rainer Maria Rilke, and his poetry, click here.

To end this first Write Sisters' Poetry Friday post, I'll include one of Rilke's poems:
Little Tear-Vase

Other vessels hold wine, other vessels hold oil
inside the hollowed-out vault circumscribed by their clay.
I, as smaller measure, and as the slimmest of all,
humbly hollow myself so that just a few tears can fill me.

Wine becomes richer, oil becomes clear, in its vessel.
What happens with tears?-They made me blind in my glass,
made me heavy and made my curve iridescent,
made me brittle, and left me empty at last.

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