Oblivion

on June 1, 2007 with 1 comments » |

Like I had written before, I started reading Bill Moyers' The language of life - a festival of poets, a collection of interviews with different poets, and particularly enjoyed the interview with Donald Hall. Reading these interviews made me want to read some good poetry and so I picked up a book of poems - coincidentally also with links to public broadcasting - Good Poems for Hard Times - selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor; as heard on The Writer's Almanac.

I started reading the introduction by Garrison Keillor - a vigorous sell for the power of poetry, if one was ever written - at 4am this morning ... but more about the introduction elsewhere.

And while it was Donald Hall who captured my imagination with his words in reading his interview in the first book, it is perhaps appropriate that amongst the first few poems I read (all good, as the title of the book suggests, it was these lines from a Jane Kenyon poem that have captured me in my waking hours this morning...

for oblivion or some condition even more
extreme, which I intuit, but can't quite name.
Some days, one does feel like this. I could never have captured this feeling in words like Jane Kenyon has so beautifully done here.
The most painful longing comes over me.
A longing not of the body....

It could be for beauty --
I mean what Keats was panting after,
for which I love and honor him;
it coould be for the promises of God,
or for oblivion, nada; or some condition even more
extreme, which I intuit, but can't quite name.
- from the poem Ice Storm, by Jane Kenyon

1 comments

  1. Kim // June 1, 2007 at 9:43 AM  

    Not exactly about poetry, but thought you might be interested in seeing if this radio show on "the secret lives of writers" will be available as a podcast after it airs today:

    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2007/06/01

    WNYC is great public radio, and even though I don't live in NYC anymore *sigh*, I listen to the Brian Lehrer show every morning to find out what's going on in the city.

    Enjoy!