1404. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. ~Carl Sandburg

The world is full of poetry.
The air is living with spirit; 
and
the waves dance to the music of its melodies,
and sparkle in its brightness
.
~James Gates Percival

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Sometime between the 8th and 9th grade in school, I decided that I didn’t like poetry at all and that I would never be a teacher, especially NOT an English teacher. All three pronouncements eventually became lies however as I spenr 31 years as a public school educator, half of which were spent teaching English. And I also came to truly love poetry. So I’ve questioned over the years the wisdom of teaching to young teenages works like the epic poem Beowulf, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the longest poem ever written by Coleridge, and Poe’s The Raven which has been called an allegory or a work that falls into didacticism. It does seem to be a bit over the top for 13, 14, and 15 year olds even very intelligent ones, don’t you think? And how many others, like me, who, as a result of similar early encounters with such challenging pieces of literature, really began detesting poetry and subsequently never came into an appreciation of it? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for challenging learners at any age, but there is just something about poetry, at least the kinds that I mentioned, that teenagers are not quite able to truly understand and/or appreciate. Of course there are a few who could or would maybe, but I’ve often thought that perhaps most, when faced with such daunting literary works, never learned to love poetry or find inspiration in it. Then there was the fact that back in the dark ages when I was in school, not only did we have to read those “thorny” poems, but we also had to memorize passages from them and eventually stand up in front of class and recite the lines for a grade. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that strikes terror in the hearts of many a student at that age including myself on occasion. However, now some 50+ decades later, I enjoy being able to yet quote some of those lines. In addition I love the genre of poetry, a large and growing number of poems, and the poets who crafted them, even if they are or were individuals who lived less than stellar or troubled lives. For example, I recently read The Raven for the first time in forever, and although Poe led a fairly sordid life filled with ordeals, I couldn’t help but be awestruck by the beauty and musicality of the poem as well as by the bits of great wisdom I found either in some of the lines themselves or between them. After all life has always been made up of “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” hasn’t it? So I’ve decided today to share a poem I like once a week in hopes that it will speak to you as many have spoken to me. After all we bloggers are writers of sorts and some are even poets so I think most of us appreciate the beauty of poetic words, rhyming or not. Thus I hope you enjoy poetic Wordy Wednesday postings in addition to pictographic Wordless Wednesday posts.

The Wishing Fish
BY THOMAS VORCE

What if you could be a trout
And splash and flip And flop about.
Amidst the river’s ripples you
Would catch sun shimmers
And renew the summer wind.
You’d stop to chat With trouty friends
And make amends.
Or discourse on the willow’s bend.
The gala of the water’s course,
Like laughter of a child,
Would run along your gullet
With the mystery of the wild.
And every wish you ever heard
Would be in chorus with the birds.
As palettes made of rainbows play,
You’d flap your fins
To greet the day.
Along the banks you’d rest at night
And fire flies like lamps would light
The glowing of the August Moon,
Where fish make wishes of their own
And all the best remains unknown.

The person without the Spirit does not accept things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. ~1 Corinthians 2:14 ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

 

1371. On being asked to write a poem against the destruction of the natural world… ~Dale Biron

Poems we love are just songs
we must sing again and again.
~Dale Biron

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Well, yes I have written such poems on occasion and several times in fact, not because I was asked, but just because my heart or soul or maybe some other nameless part of me couldn’t help but do so. I’ve quoted Rachel Carson, Walt Whitman, and Wallace Stegner just to add intellectual heft to my haranguing. And based on what I can tell, so far none of my writing or talking has made a single bit of difference, except that I now stare dumbstruck at the magnificence of a single ocean wave, and cannot take my eyes off clouds and full moons or Giant Egrets, taking one tiny sacred step at a time. After all, isn’t every poem ever just a search and rescue party for our heart and soul– nothing protected, nothing saved, nothing sustained, except maybe, just maybe, me, and you, and every other blessed thing. ~Dale Biron

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And ya know what, I personally think one can write poetry with a camera or a paint brush or with a musical instrument or a sculpting knife and on and on it goes, so that those perhaps bereft of the ability to rhyme may be gifted poets too. The Lord remains the master poet Himself as the stroke of His mighty “pen” plays on in His Creation.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8  ✝

**Images found at: http://petitcabinetdecuriosites.tumblr.com/tagged/flowers

1136. Each color lives by its mysterious life. ~Wassily Kandinsky

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning,
and unallied with definite form,
can speak to the soul
in a thousand different ways.
~Oscar Wilde

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Color… thinks by itself, independently
of the object it clothes.
~Charles Baudelaire

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Color, rather than shape,
is more closely related to emotion.
~David Katz

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Colour is, on the evidence of language alone,
very bound up with the feelings.
~Marion Milner

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Color is the language of the poets.
It is astonishingly lovely.
To speak it is a privilege.
~Keith Crown

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From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary. ~Excerpt from Exodus 39:1  ✝

**All photos taken by me in my yard

1050. Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. ~Plutarch

I would define, in brief,
the poetry of words as
the rhythmical creation of beauty.
~Edgar Allan Poe

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Musical Notation: 1 The physicality of the religious poets should not be taken idly. 
He or she, who loves God, will look most deeply into His works. Clouds are not only vapor, but shape, mobility, silky sacks of nourishing rain. The pear orchard is not only profit, but a paradise of light. The luna moth, who lives but a few days, sometimes only a few hours, has a pale green wing whose rim is like a musical notation. Have you noticed?

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We had a dog once that adored flowers; no matter how briskly she went through the fields, she must stop and consider the lilies, tiger lilies, and other blossoming things along her way. Another dog of our household loved sunsets and would run off in the evenings to the most western part of the shore and sit down on his haunches for the whole show, that pink and peach colored swollenness. Then home he would come trotting in the alpenglow, that happy dog. ~Mary Oliver

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Psalm 19:1-4  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

642. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The hours that I spend with you I look upon
as a sort of perfumed garden, a dim twilight,
and a fountain singing it to you.
You and you alone make 
me feel that I am alive.
Other men it is said have seen angels,
But I have seen thee and
 thou art enough.
~George Moore
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You ask how much I need you
Must I explain?
I need you, oh, my darling
Like roses need rain.
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You ask how long, I’ll love you
.
I’ll tell you true
Until the twelfth of never
I’ll still be loving you.
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Hold me close
;
Never let me go.
Hold me close;
Melt my heart like April snow.
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I’ll love you ’til the blue bells forget to bloom
,
I’ll love you ’til the clover has lost its perfume,
I’ll love you ’til the poets run out of rhyme,
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Until the twelfth of never
And that’s a long, long time,
Until the twelfth of never
And that’s a long, long time
.
~Excerpts from the song, The Twelfth of Never, recorded
by Johnny Mathis and written
by Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster
 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:6-7    ✝
**Images via Pinterest

622. The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. ~Matsuo Bashō

If a poem is thin, it is likely so not because
the poet does not know enough words,
but because he or she has not stood long enough
among the flowers-has not seen them in any
fresh, exciting, and valid way.
~Mary Oliver

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I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth;
I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun,
which is The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
~Excerpted verses from Song of the Flower

~by Khalil Gibran

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. ~Psalm 42:8  ✝

583. Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness. ~George MacDonald

To sit with a dog on a hillside
on a glorious afternoon 
is to be
back in Eden,
 where doing nothing
was not boring – 
it was peace.
~Milan Kundera

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The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains,
then crept into the pale mist.

~Mary Oliver

When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan’s Cathedral. In twenty-first-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms. This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment. ~Edited comment by Steven Halpern

He (the Lord) makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:2-3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest