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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Poetry Introductions

What would I do without the poets that others have introduced me to?

I really can't say...don't know if I would have discovered them on my own, or if my life would just be wanting.

I can't count the number of poets that Marion has "found" for me, but they include Rilke, Lucille Clifton, David Whyte and the incomparable Kim Addonizio. I love that Kim and Marion and I are exactly the same age. I think of her as a contemporary poet. That must mean Marion and I are contemporary, too. Heaven knows, we're not old.

From Pam came someone who means a lot to me, Sharon Olds. When I bought my first book from Sharon, I created a habit that has stayed with me. I open a poetry book to a page, any page. Invariably, the poem that is there is my favorite in the collection. It never fails.

I got a poetry book from Kelly for my birthday. Kelly introduced me to the poet Linda Pastan, and gave me her "Carnival Evening". Sure enough, on my very first "opening", I found the poem I love best -- let me share it with you now.


I am a tourist

in my own life,

gazing at the exotic shapes

of flowers

as if someone else

had planted them;


from the half-lit rooms

of children

by an invisible

velvet rope.

The dresses in my closet

are costumes

for a different woman,

though I hide myself

in their silky textures.

The man asleep

in my bed

knows me best

in the dark.

~Linda Pastan

I'm not going to draw you the parallels, but suffice it to say, the moment I read it, it was as if I wrote it... so many similar thoughts. A wonderful gift on a great birthday. (Oh, and the poem encompasses my favorite word in all of poetry, one I use over and over in my own poems... "velvet").

That's Pastan, below.


Pam said...

So glad to have you posting again! I've really missed it. Hope your life is less chaotic; wish mine was. :)

I do miss and love you and hope all is well at the moment!

I do love this poem, tho'. I have her book Carnival.

Marion said...

Oh, what would we do without our poetry?! (I turned Kelly on to Pastan who I discovered in an anthology). I love "Carnival Evening" and pick it up often. It's an amazing book by an awesome poet. You know we're getting younger each year, don't you? LOL! Blessings, my friend!!

Kelly said...

Glad you hadn't already gotten the book for yourself. Yep... thank you Marion for turning me on to her first!! 'Carnival Evening' is wonderful!!