poetry friday roundup is here!

“When our trust in politics has run out, when our faith in humanity has run out, art is there to make sense out of chaos.” ~ Janis Ian

“It is always better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

I actually had an entirely different post planned for today that I’d written two weeks ago, celebrating the first female President of the United States. But it was not to be, and the world as I thought I knew it changed on a dime. I’m trying hard to understand and accept, but it is very difficult. I know many of you share my pain, sadness, and disbelief.

So instead, I thought I’d share a poem I stumbled upon last year. Joe Salerno was new to me, and I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say about the nature and power of poetry. When we seek expression of the ineffable, it’s poetry that steps in with words bred of emotion, infused with truth. Poetry sometimes unearths the profound with far reaching consequences.

Spanish writer José Bergamín once said, “The novel is born of disillusionment; the poem, of despair.”

“Woman at Writing Desk” by Lesser Ury (1898)

POETRY IS THE ART OF NOT SUCCEEDING

Poetry is the art of not succeeding;
the art of making a little ritual
out of your own bad luck, lighting a little fire
made of leaves, reciting a prayer
in the ordinary dark.

It’s the art of those who didn’t make it
after all; who were lucky enough to be
left behind, while the winners ran on ahead
to wherever it is winners
go running to.

O blessed rainy day, glorious
as a paper bag. The kingdom of poetry
is like this — quiet, anonymous,
a dab of sunlight on the back of your hand,
a view out the window just before dusk.

It’s an art more shadow than statue,
and has something to do with your dreams
running out — a bare branch darkening
on a winter sky, the week-old snow
frozen into something hard.

It’s an art as simple as drinking water
from a tin cup; of loving that moment
at the end of autumn, say, when the air
holds no more promises, and the days are short
and likely to be gray.

A bland light is best to see it in.
Middle age brings it to flower.
And there, just when you’re feeling your
weakest,
it floods you completely,
leaving you weeping as you drive your car.

~ Posted by permission. Copyright © 1998 Joe Salerno.

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Nothing to do now but roll up our sleeves and get to work. No time for despair, self-pity, or blame. Creatives create. Making is the best healing. Make stories, songs, pictures, soup, cookies, poems. Model a world of diversity, inclusion, love, decency, and tolerance for all the children out there. In our own spheres, what we do with purposeful intent can make a difference. Let’s remember to support each other, be generous with our time and advice, always be kind, and “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Now, please leave your links with the always hungry Mr. Linky. Don’t forget to put the name of the poem or book review you’re sharing in parentheses after your name. Thanks for joining us today!

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“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” ~ John F. Kennedy

 


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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49 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. Dear Jama, thank you for this hope and for this poem that serves up an excellent reminder for more things than just writing! I’d like to share some tea with you and share the things we are grateful for, for that’s where I often find my hope — by looking back and seeing all the things that have gone so beautifully with no help whatsoever from me! Thank you for beaming your deliciousness into our lives, Jama. I am grateful for you. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday, Jama! Your blog keeps my hope alive and is a bright spot in a week of darkness. I, too, find that out of crisis comes creativity which serendipitously is what my post is about also. Thanks for being you and sharing your light with the world. =)

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  3. Thank you for hosting Jama. Your poem provides a most reflective overview of the poet’s diverse challenges. I found myself taken by your final remarks. The part that resonated strongly was ‘making is the best healing.’ Even in far away Australia the events of the week have gone out like ripples in a pond. I share your disappointment and have been diverting myself by focusing on being creative – I painted a fence!

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  4. I sure wish we could have come here to celebrate, but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be to begin to heal my heart. You are a force for good in the world, Jama. Thank you for this poem and for your words.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sorry our Australian friends feel our pain, too. I really can’t say much more as I’m still in one of the early stages of grief.

    One thing I can say about any creative outlet–it takes you out of yourself and speeds up time. A good project can wipe out hours, days, and with any luck, the next four years.

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  6. Love this poem, Jama – so true, and so personally affecting. Here’s to more love and decency in our world! I, too, was taken by the events of this week, and share that in my post, which goes live shortly after midnight. (and thank you for hosting, by the way!)

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  7. Dear Jama, Ooooh. I should have known I could come here for solace and inspiration. I’ve copied your last words and filed them under Quotes of Hope:

    “Nothing to do now but roll up our sleeves and get to work. No time for despair, self-pity, or blame. Creatives create. Making is the best healing. Make stories, songs, pictures, soup, cookies, poems. Model a world of diversity, inclusion, love, decency, and tolerance for all the children out there. In our own spheres, what we do with purposeful intent can make a difference. Let’s remember to support each other, be generous with our time and advice, always be kind, and “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” ~ Jama Rattigan

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you, Dear Friend, for nourishing us with this post today. It’s both comfort food and challenge, and sorely needed.
    –“reciting a prayer/in the ordinary dark” – lovely.
    Those words you quoted from Hillary’s remarks on Wednesday… Yes. She was the epitome of grace with that speech. Onward we go.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. How I wish you could have put your original post up, Jama!As is, I’m feeling that same despair you and many people here are feeling. It’s actually been hard to clear my head and think logically! For some weird reason I ended up thinking about Aeschylus for the last few days, probably because of what the oracle predicted about his death. I feel a bit like it came true for Americans, so I wrote a poem about that and posted it. But I’m determined to get to work, non-metaphorically, to see if we can’t do something about an Electoral College that keeps trump-ing the popular vote.Time to change that, right? Maybe maybe maybe we could actually move our elections into the 21st century (lots has changed since the establishment of an Electoral College!) and accomplish that, letting the people “speak” less archaically? Meanwhile, I’ll rake leaves and wonder about the country I live in, and I’ll write poetry like the rest of us. Sending hugs to everyone who, like me, is blue.

    Gosh, I just noticed that photo of Aidan Turner! All is not lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jama, your post is a bright spot filled with positivity today (not that it isn’t either week). Thanks for sharing your concerns in such a positive way. It’s important to do as you say, “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Thank you for hosting PF.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I knew you would be inspiring today. Thank you. It gives me a little shiver to think that poem has been waiting for this moment. Somehow I loved this: “lucky enough to be/left behind”. I often believe that things happen that teach us what we need to know. Perhaps Hillary is meant to do something better than what she’s had to leave behind? I am sure she will make more of her life for America in the future in unique ways. Thank you for the encouraging words and hosting on this tough week.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Had to send Joe Salerno’s poem to a few people — thanks for that, Jama, and for hosting. I have been cycling through all the emotions this week (surprisingly, quite a few of which seem to involve me feeling like I’m going to throw up). xo

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  13. What a gorgeous poem….and so full of experience. Thank you for sharing. This one is a keeper for me. I’m sending love to you. I think stopping to observe our emotions during this difficult time is exactly what poets do. I’m at a loss to express….but it’s coming! Have a good week. I look forward to your kindness and visit your blog often.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I should have waited to comment….I just read through all the comments. I’m so lucky to be included in this community. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by creatives. I love each and every response. I’m in awe of creative first responders. I’m afraid I’m in a bit of shock and sadness. But, look out world…I will come back with something! For today, it may be a home cooked meal. Love to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, Jama, your post resonates with what is right in this world. It lights a candle and offers a path forward. I also was moved by the many comments and echo Linda Mitchell’s feelings about the depth and quality of those responses. Thank you also for hosting and for sharing Joe Salerno’s wonderful poem and your thoughts on the power of poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “. . . leaving you weeping as you drive your car.” I’ve had so many of those moments in the last few days. You are right that we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work, but I need a little more time for the despair part. It’s going to take a while to process this, and to figure out what to do with the hard stone of anger still burning in my chest.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love that poem. Thanks for hosting. This week I needed Poetry Friday more than ever. I shared one of my own at Bonny Glen, plus an excerpt from Allen Ginsberg’s “America.” “America, why are your libraries full of tears?”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jama, How do I get Mister Linky to work on WP? I just tried to register there because I’m hosting next week, and it won’t find my blog. I googled, and it suggests installing a plugin but WP won’t let me. Help! Eek!

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    1. Hi Brenda,

      Your blog is on wordpress.com, right? Like mine, it won’t accept plug ins. When you registered, did it say anything about wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org? Only wordpress.org blogs can accept plug ins.

      You should be able to register/open an account and then go to the wizard so it can generate code for you to insert into your post.

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