Monday, March 2, 2009

Calling Poetry Forth

A Walk On The Beach, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923)

This day calls for poetry. Poetry soothes our souls. I cannot stand the pessimistic mood I feel all around me. The economic mess is difficult to understand. Many people are suffering. Many more are apprehensive and afraid. My own unemployment has been the source of many frightening thoughts. I call forward the muses of poetry. I believe in the secret language of intimacy that we find in poetry. If treated with reverence poetry can reveal the innermost truth of ourselves. You can call it a kind of oracle if you like. We need our oracles. We need to talk with our ancient ones if only to make sense of this long arduous process called life. Poetry connects you with the sounds and music of our human heritage. If you cannot connect with your neighbors in this so isolated world or if your family and friends are far away, poetry will bring the warmth of their loving kindness. Mom and Dad are gone. They were my poetry because I loved them so much. I find solace in poetry. In poetry we find welcoming arms. A good poem is a sincere poem. Some are simple and other are full of tropes and highly inventive metaphors. That is just style. But the essence of the poem is to reach out to you, that you may never feel detached or lonely. A lifelong dedication to the garden of poetry will bring you the most exquisite flowers. Your life deserves flowers. Your life deserves song. Let's reconnect with the gift of poetry.


One of my most beloved poets is Antonio Machado (1875-1939). His poetry is delicate and deep. His music in verse is the glory of the Spanish language. His poems are the soul of 400 million speakers of the language of Cervantes. I am one of them. He speaks about life, the passing of time, Love and the beautiful landscape of Spain, the motherland. This is one of his most famous verse translated into English. Breathe this poetry. Your tired soul will find a resting place in these verses.

Cantares


All goes, and all remains,
but our task is to go,
to go creating roads,
roads through the sea.
My songs never chased after glory to remain in human memory.
I love the subtle worlds weightless and charming,
worlds like soap-bubbles.
I like to see them, daubed with sunlight and scarlet,
quiver, under a blue sky, suddenly and burst…I never chased glory.
Traveller, the road is only your footprint,
and no more;
traveller, there’s no road, the road is your travelling...'
Going becomes the road and if you look back you will see a path none can tread again.
Traveller, every track leaves its wake on the sea…
Once in this place where bushes now have thorns,
the sound of a poet’s cry was heard-‘Traveller there’s no road, the road is your travelling…’
Step by step, line by line…
The poet died far from home.
Shrouded by dust of a neighbouring land.
At his parting they heard him cry-‘Traveller there’s no road the road is your travelling…’
Step by step,
line by line…
When the goldfinch can’t sing,
when the poet’s a wanderer,
when nothing aids our prayer: ‘Traveller there’s no road the road is your travelling…’
Step by step,
line by line.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

wow- its almost eerie reading your post and then looking at my last two, which are so different to my usual writings...thank you for sharing- i always look forward to your posts showing up in my following list Lisa xxx

willow said...

Yes, we are on the same page, again!! The muse of poetry has been soothing me these last few weeks. I adore the thought that I can connect to my human heritage through poetry. Lovely, lovely post, Mr. Cowboy. Thank you.

Linda S. Socha said...

This is heart inspiring and I thank you much. How wonderful when so many thoughts and connections come forth and cross at the heart of the matter....I just came from Raph's blog.....March is the month for love....I love how it is being expressed in all forms. Wishing you every success you need soon
Linda

tam said...

Wow thanks for the introduction to Machado. Beautiful. The spirit of the poem reminds of another line - 'I find my way in the wilderness by the light of my burning map'.
Aah, those muses are there, waiting to be called on. Thank you!

A Cuban In London said...

Your post is beautiful and Machadocna only be read in Spanish. He's one of the few poets (Benedetti, Girondo) whose poetry cannot be translated into any other language because it loses its flair. And poetry sung by someone like Joan Manuel Serrat. Now we're talking! "Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar."

Muchas gracias por tan bello post.

Saludos desde Londres.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

A beautiful poem, PC. I wish I could read it in Spanish.

It is amazing how, as Linda S. Socha says, so many thoughts and connections come forth and cross at the heart of the matter. I was very moved by your post 'Waiting'.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Thank you for sharing this poem. I generally look to prose in difficult times, but I do have some favorite poets. Feel better. I love the line "Traveler there is no road, the road is your traveling."