25 April 2011

All song, all singing

Happy Easter! It's been raining for what seems like forever, but spring is in the air. I'm hoping that these April showers really do bring May flowers. We had a lovely Easter yesterday. Gabriel joined in the egg hunt like he's being doing it all his life, spotting all of the colorful eggs, toddling over to them, cracking them open, and holding up his treasures with a big "ooooh!!!!" for us all to marvel at.

I handed in my beast of a dissertation draft a week ago Friday, and have now had two work-free weekends, which felt glorious. The first time in ages I read the Sunday paper from start to finish, got some baking done, and took afternoon naps. There's still a long haul of editing and chopping and reworking to be done (I'm creating an additional chapter out of a way-too-long chapter, and all of them are already too long), but the defense is that much closer. And now comes the move: sorting and packing and selling and migrating from Bloomington to Belgium!

The Sunday paper printed a lovely selection of spring poems, of which I really adored Li-Young Lee's "The Word from His Song." Sometimes I find his poems a little too zen-ohm-goggly, but I liked the sing-shoutingness of this, and "It's all song, all singing, the body's seat / and number, the mind's pleats, time's hem."

The Word from His Song
by Li-Young Lee

The sparrow on my rooftop shouts,
"All roads be blessed." His voice a ring
for the finger of the beloved.

And he wouldn't work harder at his song
if all the world prized it,
nor temper what sounds like ardor
if a public thought him wrong.

He says singing redeems the body's loneliness.
All praise is homage to an older praising,
a drastic sum and ruling mean,
earth's urging the grapes to a clearer fate,
sun's pressing them to a more potent praise.

Flying fixes the heart to the sky's wheel, he says.
Salt cures the script.
Light is a fractal script.
Imagination is branched, flowering,
and each fans the buds himself.

He says every atom burns.
Hunger rends the kingdom by mending,
marrying voices and wings.

Singing builds a throne
for hearing, sets up a swing
between our one night and our day.

It's all song, all singing, the body's seat
and number, the mind's pleats, time's hem.

The voice is a sighted brink.
Its mission is to sort the world.
The tongue is a mortal flower.
The dew at last. The guests arrive.
The child learns his name,
a virgin bell. And even that
iron note is God awake in two worlds.

God seeks a destiny in all things fired
in the kiln of the sun or the mind.

That's the word from his song.

1 comment:

Astrid said...

I was just thinking of poetry today and that I would love to read some but having no clue where to start... Could you suggest a book/website for a poetry novice??

I love it when I stumble upon a good poem but I have never actively looked for any... Shame on me!