Saturday, July 4, 2009


I have now picked up the theme I started some weeks ago having posted the poem "As Kingfishers catch fire," which I mentioned in my post of June 1 as having a very special significance for me. On the one hand the message of how one defines oneself and on the other the ringing beauty of the language both have been continuing inspirations.

I have been writing poems for a very long time. On March 17th I posted my poem "St. Patrick's Day" which I often cite as my first conscious attempt at writing a poem, that consciousness was in large part the result of the revelation of Hopkin's language as a vehicle of expression. My friend at RISD, Theresa Snyder, had introduced me to the poem, along with "the Windhover" and "Spring and Fall." " The just man justices......through the beauty of men's faces......" these lines have never left me, either as concepts or as models. "St. Patrick's Day" was conceived and pretty largely formed in the next year and the connection is for me direct and strong.

To know oneself is a great struggle- and accepting oneself an even greater one. Viewed from a distance that seems odd because we all are creatures of God's creation, and we all agree, or most of us do, that God does perfectly, so why should we find ourselves so lacking? We do, Hopkins certainly did, and many of the ills of life find root in that.

I have a friend for whom I care deeply who more than most disparages, despairs of, himself, despite being a brilliant, interesting, and handsome man. A few years ago I gave him the "Kingfisher's" poem, typeset and illustrated- the image I posted with the poem is from that illustration, and doing that started me on a series of writings and images that spring from the poem. They came in a flood and now I am going to share them with you now- some are prose, some are poems- each will have it's own post, they end in a piece I call "a conundrum." I'll include some of the images as well.

The theme of these all is finding oneself, and being able to find happiness with what it is we do find find in that process.

1 comment:

saratbaker said...

Hopkins is one of my favorite poets; I'm more familiar with The Windhover and Spring and Fall is one of my all time favorites. But Kingfisher is more opaque to me. I find it significant that this post is from July 4, the day of my accident, which I think of as a sort of Jonah and the whale experience. I will be reading these explorations with keen interest.