Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!
Please help yourself to a friendly cup of hot chocolate and a yummy cookie. If you’ve been extra good this week, take two. 🙂
I think many of you would agree that October is the best autumn month. September can be a little too warm, the vestiges of summer dragging its feet, while November can have its grey, gloomy moments, inviting melancholy. Once we’re past Thanksgiving and rushing headlong into December, we’ve switched into holiday shopping mode, which doesn’t feel autumnal at all.
But October? Peak color, chipper mornings, deep blue skies, the anticipation of Halloween. Kids are happy in October dunking for apples, carving pumpkins, and fulfilling their wishes to dress up as anyone or any thing as they go trick-or-treating.
This month I was happy to discover Jeffrey Bean, a new-to-me Michigan poet who’s written a series of direct address poems beginning with “Kid, this is . . . “
Try this one on for size.
KID, THIS IS OCTOBER, you can make the maples blaze just by stopping to look, you can set your clock to the barks of geese. Somewhere the grandfathers who own this town lean down to iron crisp blue shirts, their faces bathing in steam, and blackbirds clamor in packs, make plans behind corn. You know this, you were born whistling at crackling stars, you snap your fingers and big turtles slide out of rivers to answer. You can swim one more time in the puddle of sun in your water glass, taste icicles already in the white crunch of your lunch apple. Go to sleep. I’ll put on my silver suit and chase the sky into the moon. ~ from The Missouri Review, February 2016
About this poem, Jeffrey says:
One thing I love about being a parent is the way it wakes me up to the sensory details of the world. As a father of a five-year-old, I find myself trying to see through my daughter’s eyes, and in doing so I pay even more attention than usual to corn, turtles, flocks of blackbirds, maples, apples, water, etc., noticing the beauty as well as the strangeness in these things. In the series of “kid” poems from which “Kid, this is October” comes, I like the way the mode of direct address allows the father-speaker to catalog many such details in the form of advice, encouragement, pseudo-fables, or, in the case of this poem, as a kind of lullaby. He wants the kid to open up to the world as much as possible and he also wants the kid to go to sleep, which pretty much sums up my experiences with parenthood so far. What has been most interesting to me in writing these poems is the way it puts me in touch with my own childhood. It has made me realize how crucial imagination has been in my life as a kid and how crucial it continues to be in my life as a father.~ from The Missouri Review, February 2016
It’s the same world, but we all see, hear, and feel it differently thanks to the mind’s eye. That’s our human super power, but often we need children to remind us of it.
And now, Kid, This is Mr. Linky. Feed him your poetic goodness. 🙂
Enjoy your meanderings around the blogosphere, engage in a little fall folderol this weekend, and have a Happy Halloween next Sunday.
*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.