Our 2010 is not about The Desperate Housescribes. It’s about All of You. You keep us energized, inspired and motivated to write. We thank you. Fiercely. Vastly. Utterly.
We also take our nourishment from a passel of poets ~ Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Naomi Shihab Nye, William Carlos Williams, Maxine Kumin, Stanley Kunitz, Nikki Giovani, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton, e e cummings, Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Gwendolyn Brooks…. just to name a few.
W.S. Merwin, the 17th Poet Laureate 2010-2011, is one of them. Yes, he’s wise. But he’s on my Fave list because he’s tossed out punctuation. He says it ‘staples the poem to the page’. He wants the hearing of the poem to be like spoken language. Here’s a recent punctuation-free poem from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Shadow of Sirius. Read it aloud.
A Momentary Creed
I believe in the ordinary day
I do not see it going its own way
it extends beyond whatever I may
it is the present that it bears away
there is no place I know outside today
the only presence that appears to stay
even the way that I believe the day
For the curious, here's a list of the 24 poets and 1 astronaut (?) portrayed in the linocut:
First row Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Robert Browning - Walt Whitman - William Butler Yeats - Gertrude Stein Second row Robert Frost - Carl Sandburg - Wallace Stevens - J.D. - T. S. Eliot
Third row Edna St. Vincent Millay - Neil Armstrong - e e cummings - Langston Hughes - W. H. Auden
Fourth row Randall Jarrell - John Berryman - Dylan Thomas - Gwendolyn Brooks - Philip Larkin
Fifth row Gregory Corso - Allen Ginsberg - Anne Sexton - Sylvia Plath - Frank O'Hara