01 April 2014

A is for Atwood: Spring into Poetry!

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Back in January, I began the One Page a Day Challenge and immediately threw away my quill.  Now in April, I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.  I need ink, a stiff drink and therapy.

his has definitely been the winter of my discontent.

Although I love winter and reveled in the extended snow fall ~ much to many of my friends’ dismay and loathing ~ the lack of a daily dose of sunlight and Vitamin D turned my Muse blue, navy blue.

But now it’s time to shake the snow and ice, and yes, a little dust, from my quill, and start writing in earnest again.  And what better way to thaw out the ink than with a blog challenge.

This is the first year I’ve joined the A to Z Challenge and it should be interesting.  It’s my kind of challenge: there is a guide (the alphabet) but it’s flexible (choose your own topic).

A is for Atwood
I could have been a smart acre and just said A is for April – National Poetry Month.  But that would have made for either a very short post or a very long one.  And that would have led to tomorrow’s letter: B is for Boring.

So instead, I decided to pick a poet that I like whose name begins with A.  Could have been their last name or first name, but first name would have made for another long list and, yeah, we’ve already been there.  Boring.

Poetry is far from dead.  A song is just poetry set to music.  And poetry is music without instruments.  Save that of the human voice.  And one of my favorite modern writers of musical words is Margaret Atwood.  And one of my favorite poems, Variation on the  Word Sleep, which I’ve shared below.

It’s a beautiful day. The snow is gone. The sun is shining.  Take some poetry outside, and read it out loud.  Spring can’t be far away.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Who is your favorite “A” poet?

Variation on the Word Sleep
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario. She earned a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Harvard.

She is the author of over fifteen books of poetry, including Eating Fire: Selected Poems, 1965-1995 (Virago Press Limited, 1998); Morning in the Burned House (1995), which was a co-winner of the Trillium Award; Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New 1976-1986 (1987); Two-Headed Poems (1978); You Are Happy (1975); and The Animals in That Country (1968).

Read more about Margaret Atwood here.

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