Sunday, March 22, 2009

Siegel horse poem

Amazing. I love this guy (Robert Siegel) and hopefully will get some more of his books!
This poem is about a plow horse, sharp and strong imagery going on. One thing I didn't figure out is why he breaks some of his lines, and more often his stanzas, where he does... What does this shape do for this poem? I like to think something, but haven't discovered the plot yet.

From The Waters Under the Earth.

Versus... came to mean the turning of the plough, hence, furrow, and ultimately row or line. -Robt Wallace

We hear his heavy kick against the stall.
"No rest for the wicked," the farmer smiles,

shoving back the door. The dark inside
teases the nose with chaff. It takes them both,

father and son, to back him out, resisting
bit and blinkers, showing the white of his eye.

Harness and plow attached, he stamps,
sweeping away the retinue of flies,

nods and strains forward at the farmer's grunt -
head sideways, feet rising and falling like pistons.

The harness jingles, the plowman arches back,
rising the stilts as the coulter slices sod,

casting it in bright heaps. The plowhorse blows
flies from his lip, small stones click on steel,

black sod turns over. His neck muscles coil,
slide, and draw his head in tight

to a flared nostril, marble eye,
jaw wrenched and foaming. Meanwhile the son

dwindles behind the massive haunches,
jerking from side to side down the shining furrow,

until, tiny in the distance, the blade flashes
as he turns and starts a new row coming back.

Later that night at my desk, I still
breathe the rich humus on the damp air,

see that furrow stretch before me, moist ditch
rank with promise, crooked line

starting here, returning here, forever.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Justin Morgan/Isaac Watts hymn

To see the words is not enough. One must hear it sung. And one must (at least try to) sing it; the melody is in the tenor and all the parts are somewhat challenging to follow.

Through Every Age, Eternal God

Through every age, eternal God/ Thou art our rest, our safe abode;
High was Thy throne, e'er heav'n was made/ or earth Thy hymble footstool laid.

Long hadst Thou reigned ere time began/ or dust was fashioned into man;
And long Thy kingdom shall endure/ when earth and time shall be no more.

But man, weak man, is born to die/ made up of guilt and vanity:
Thy dreadful sentence, Lord, was just-/ "return, ye sinners, to your dust."

Death, like an overwflowing stream/ sweeps us away; our life's a dream-
An empty tale- a morning flow'r/ cut down and wither'd in an hour.

Teach us, O Lord, how frail is man/ and kindly lengthn out the span,
Till, cleansed by grace, we all may be/ prepared to die, and dwell with Thee.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March madness

While home for a lovely weekend where no school but the morning monastic routine was done, I took some pictures of the twins in their new room. They weren't too thrilled about the prospect of taking a nap, and I provided a little distraction for a few minutes with my camera. As you can tell by their eyes and a few expressions, they were actually pretty sleepy.

The family came to Moscow a couple Sundays ago and we had a yummy lunch together, played some games and visited before they went home again. Here, Becki, Abbi and I.

Day of the Masquerade Ball. I'm afraid my hair didn't look quite the same after the first dance (the grand march)- thirty minutes of a lot of fast stuff in a very crowded room! Why don't we dance more??

And this week... It's week seven. What can I say? Finishing assigned readings, writing papers, preparing a history timeline, studying vocab, looking over notebooks of class notes. Part of you knows this is the most important part of the term, preparing for finals where all you have done shows up... the rest of you is tired and counting down days to spring break, and diverted by the windows pulling you outdoors.
It is March, and the days are amazing. We never know what weather to expect but the warmth of the season is sneaking in and there are flowers in the yard here in Moscow!! But it snows every few days, a skiff, and the wind can be cold, and rain keeps showing up like a stray dog you forget about in between times. Evenings are longer and mornings are brighter earlier. I start thinking about sandals and garden seeds and the buds and seed pods on the maple tree and the year's first bonfire on Dad's birthday.
I love spring.