Monday, January 11, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 01/10/10: Poems of Blessing, The Loveliness of Sow, Snug the Soother

1. I promised my Intro to Poetry class that we would read depressing poetry. I promised. But today was not that day and I reveled in the vitality and ecstatic moments of James Wright, Li-Young Lee, Mary Oliver, and Galway Kinnell. I hope some of my students also felt the uplift of these poems.

2. Reading "St. Francis and the Sow" reminded of when Kinnell's Mortal Acts, Mortal Words first started making the rounds at Whitworth College. I wonder if Phil Eaton required the book of his poetry workshop students. They all seemed to be carrying it and one day, I remember, Colette read "St. Francis and the Sow" to me and the last line, "the long, perfect loveliness of sow" has rung in my mind every since, a vivid reminder of the power of self-blessing.

3. Snug is long overdue for a grooming session and was long overdue for a bath. I don't (can't) (won't) groom him, but I gave him a bath today and he looked at me with utterly peaceful eyes as I showered him with warm water and soaped him and rinsed him. Later, working on some research for WR 122, with Snug lying next to me, I kept getting sweet whiffs of his clean fur and when he rested his head on my chest, I petted his soft fur and smelling and touching Snug soothed me.

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