Random Thoughts, December 9th Edition:
- When it comes to Homer, there are Iliad people and there are Odyssey people. I am an Odyssey man, myself. The journey towards over the swords. The cagey man over the ragey man. The ship’s keel over the hero’s heel.
- Shopping? You say you’re done with your shopping? Must mean I best get started.
- Poets I like to read in essay-mode: Robert Hass, Tony Hoagland, Jane Hirshfield.
- Holiday meditation (oxymoron alert!) recommendation: Chinese and Japanese poetry. Read, reread, repeat.
- Is there a word for the sound of snow landing on snow in a windless snowfall? That word is a poem.
- Ditty of the Day by Arthur Guiterman:
On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness
The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.
The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is ferric oxide known as rust.
The grizzly bear whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.
Great Caesar’s bust in on the shelf,
And I don’t feel so well myself!
- Poetry ideas are pack animals. I see many, write them down, and pick which one to muse upon. Then it’s forest silence for long stretches. Ideas go ghostly.
- Most contemplative season? I vote autumn, which puts man’s mind to the great mystery of life–his own approaching winter.
- “Stopping By Woods on Snowy Evening” may be kids’ stuff, but it’s many a poet’s guilty pleasure committed to memory, too.
- Speaking of, why do we use the term “committed to” as if memory is an asylum?
- A fully-trimmed Christmas tree is a glorious thing–if someone else trims it, takes it down, and vacuums the last needle (found along about April).
- “the season ’tis, my lovely lambs,” (e.e. cummings)
- “With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stone” (W.B. Yeats)
- “Not the silent, deflected sound of snow / but that direct, cold ping running down the gutters of my spirit” (K.R. Craft)
- But I flatter myself.
- Because no one else will.
- Collectors can make money on e-Bay, especially this time of year, if their collected nostalgia is in mint, never-used condition, but I collect compliments and kind words. Neither has a market, other than the bazaar of my mind, and it is bizarre, indeed.
- Definition of an “Old Soul”: I prefer medieval and Renaissance Christmas music to modern fare. Apologies to Mariah Carey (all she wants for Christmas is whoever is listening to the song).
- I just read this week that the word “whom” is dead. The “whom” is dead! Long live the “who”!
- Cindy Lou Who?
- There’s something to be said for the Grinch and Scrooge. Both Christ and the Buddha would say it, too.
- Give the gift of experience over stuff, yourself over stuff, your generosity over stuff.
- Go forth this Saturday and be a collector of moments. (Hint: It’s not in any store and it doesn’t have a web address.)