A beautiful poem by Theodore Roethke
I Knew a Woman
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).
How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make).
Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved).
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways).
I recently discovered this e.e. Cummings poem while digging around on the internet one day. The more I read it, the more beautiful it becomes. Simple. And beautiful.
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
e. e. Cummings, 1894 – 1962
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
As I stood over the sink tonight, and drizzled honey onto a piece of cornbread, I imagined it was sorghum.
Or as some might say, “MO-las-ses.”
Or as my family says, “sar-gum.”
(There’s a difference, though. You can read about it here.)
I envisioned the rich, deep amber syrup so completely I almost convinced my taste buds that the honey was something else. And on the verge of that fantasized tangy sweet taste, a memory moved slowly in the back of my mind, and with it, more memories came; all of them sticking together; all of them about sorghum.
Winter morning. Kitchen. I’m sitting on my mother’s lap. She’s wearing a soft red robe that’s keeping me warm. On the plate in front of us–a biscuit split open. On another plate–butter and sorghum. She takes fork and begins to mix the butter with the sorghum, turning it into a translucent spread. She covers one half of the biscuit with her mixture, and we eat together. Only mama eats her sorghum like this.
Year’s later. I’m grown. I have a husband. A family dinner with my parents. Cornbread. Sorghum, and the surprising revelation that my Iowa husband has never tasted sorghum. We fix him up. But he’s expecting honey and is not prepared for the bitter sweet, smokey tang that surprises his taste buds.
Breakfasts. Desserts. Biscuits. Cornbread…
Now, if I only had some sorghum.
Watch how it’s made:
After being home with a sick little boy for a few days, I think we are in need of something refreshing. A poem by Li-Young Lee. Enjoy!
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we brought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy, to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
from Rose by Li-Young Lee