Monday, 26 April 2010

Tuesday Poem

For the thought of muses and what is a muse anyway and the following discoveries which this subject sparked, I must thank Joanna Preston. She has been a faithful sideline supporter through this NaPoWriMo and I've been cheered on and encouraged by her as I've trooped through this month of facing head-on the challenge of writing a poem-a-day. In her latest post on her excellent blog A Dark Feathered Art, she asked how we were faring and also, by the way, how were we getting along with our muses? This got me thinking ... and as it happened, the day's incidental occurrences fitted into that thinking beautifully - as they tend to do when you are listening and looking. Which is part of the lesson I am learning from NaPoWriMo.

making my day

Catullus in Carmen
'And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally.'
(Student translation, 2007)

I'm an independent sort, a little stubborn, a little closed
-off, and so the thought of needing a muse to inspire me
does not appeal. Someone in diaphanous silk with a lyre
and a crown of roses, attending so closely, breathing on me,
taking away all my elbow room, unsettles me and I will have
none of it. And yet, I discover today in a portrait I see of a muse
that there is something in the face, its downward glancing,
the containment of a knowing beyond awareness, in the hand
like a butterfly, that says I did not choose to be here,
but nevertheless I am and I will make the most of it.
It was something I'd seen before and I knew then that I had it
all wrong, for what I was seeing in the face of the muse,
were the faces of my grandchildren. And then out of the blue
my son in Kyoto Skypes me saying my granddaughter
kept asking for, "G'an'ma," and pointing to his laptop.
Then before I knew it, there we were, over acres of space,
all three of us singing together, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star'
and 'Eency Weency Spider' and I held up my mug of tea
and she her drink-bottle of wheat tea and we said, "Cheers!"
and toasted, I guess, family and long distances
broken down between. And to seeing. Later,
I tell Kate about it and she says, "But that's so cool.
That must have really made your day."

Kay McKenzie Cooke

For more Tuesday Poems go to Tuesday Poem.


Catherine said...

Isn't Skype a wonderful thing for grandmas? I love that you saw the faces of your family in the statue of the Muse.

Tim Jones said...

Another lovely poem - and +1 to technology for mentioning Skype in it!

Kay Cooke said...

Catherine - I LOVE Skype!

Tim - I sometimes wonder about mentioning technology ... it seems so un-poetic somehow ...

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks Kay. I particularly like the face saying 'I did not choose to be here,/but nevertheless I am and I will make the most of it.'

Kay Cooke said...

Helen - Thanks! :)

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...