Poetry for Imbolc

_MG_0148Great Goddess Brigid was Matron of smithcraft, healing and Poetry – all three were apparently perceived by the ancients of Her “British Isles” and larger jurisdiction, as essential to existence. Hmmm, this is worth thinking about – the Poetry bit … is there enough of that? do we take what we speak seriously enough – say what it is we wish to bring into being? do we hear what we ourselves say? what others say? what story are you telling? what story do you allow to continue, by not paying attention to this great gift?

As well, do we nurture our bodyminds with beautiful words … not just fill it with trash, junk food words which surrounds most of us these days, unless one takes precautions and fills one’s space with beauty of choice. I understand that it is a matter of balance: that is, knowing what is out there, but being able to have the strength to “parent” one’s self … monitor what you subject your self to – the wild native innocent in you that desires beauty and joy in existence, Many are unaware of the Power of the spoken word, how it may transmit a blessing or otherwise.

Here is some wisdom about Poetry that has attracted me recently, and it combines themes of this cross-quarter Seasonal Moment as it may be celebrated in both hemispheres of our Planet:  Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere (where we are making Poetry) and Lammas in the Northern Hemisphere (where we may be immersing in the down-side of things, perhaps seeking forgiveness). Here it is:

A poet should think of all things as being given them, even misfortune. Misfortune, defeat, humiliation, failure, those are our tools – we are given mistakes, we are given nightmares – and our task is to turn them into poetry. And if I were truly a poet I would feel that every moment of my life is poetic, every moment of my life is a kind of clay I have to mould, I have to shape, to lick into poetry.  So that I don’t think I should apologize for my mistakes.  These mistakes were given me – in order that I might turn them into poetry. This “is true for the poetic spirit in everyone, the work of giving form, expression, to everything that happens, thus discovering and revealing meaning … discovering that all experiences, light or dark, are stars and take their place in the constellation of wholeness.”  Jorge Luis Borges (Conversations at 80)

And here is a poem that I love to trot out at Imbolc. It has been with me for decades, and I am alway feeling it more deeply each year:

Artemis

by Olga Broumas

Let’s not have tea. White wine
eases the mind along
the slopes
of the faithful body, helps

any memory once engraved
on the twin
chromosome ribbons, emerge, tentative
from the archaeology of an excised past.

I am a woman
who understands
the necessity of an impulse whose goal or origin
still lie beyond me. I keep the goat

for more
than the pastoral reasons. I work
in silver the tongue-like forms
that curve round a throat

an arm-pit, the upper
thigh, whose significance stirs in me
like a curviform alphabet
that defies

decoding, appears
to consist of vowels, beginning with O, the O-
mega, horseshoe, the cave of sound.
What tiny fragments

survive, mangled into our language.
I am a woman committed to
a politics
of transliteration, the methodology

of a mind
stunned at the suddenly
possible shifts of meaning – for which
like amnesiacs

in a ward on fire, we must
find words
or burn.

 

 

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Stuart McHardy

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Author blog of William A. Young; journeys through the mythology of the northern fringes of Europe

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