Friday, June 24, 2011

O Me! O Life!

The Walt Whitman Bridge
Been away for a while, not that my absence has shattered the Earth or blogosphere very much. But still... two weeks away? Eh, annoying to those who care, but not unforgivable (I hope). Two months away? Some small bit of explaining needed.

Well, I have been working -- lots of writing, which is good I suppose. Good to keep busy, even if it is the poverty-stricken kind of busy. But also, without oversharing ("Hey!" You're saying. "This is a blog. You're supposed to overshare!!!") I have been dealing with a whole lot of very crappy crap. And writing a little poetry. Can you tell? Crappy crap. I coined that phrase. Trademark WordNerdGirl 2011. Hell, Walt Whitman has nothing on me.

Why poetry? I used to write a lot of very angsty verse when I was in high school -- the kind of stuff that I cringe to read now, and likely made my English teachers roll their eyes at the earnestness of it all. Even now, it is not anything that could be considered "good." But I enjoy playing with words and odd phrasings, and finding the natural rhythms as I work on a piece.  Even just creating an unusual layout with the words, lines and stanzas on the page -- I'm a big fan of using white space for dramatic effect -- has been therapeutic.

It is a form I've enjoyed rediscovering, and it suits my overall mood right now. Melancholy and poetry. Peanut butter and jelly. It's a natural fit.

I've also been reading a lot of poetry, which is a relatively new thing for me. I was initially looking for words of comfort or wisdom. But I'm finding a new appreciation and inspiration as I discover or get reacquainted with the works of Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Edgar Allen Poe, Shel Silverstein and the esteemed Mr. Whitman. He's a much better poet than I ever will be -- and has his own bridge to prove it. So I'll end here for now with this new favorite of mine:

O Me! O Life
 O Me! O Life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
--Walt Whitman

1 comment:

  1. I loved your poem on Everyday Poets and thanks for sharing this. It's a bit of Walt I'd never read. AND I like your blog very much!