Most of my poetry-minded readers already know that Adrienne Rich died recently. When I heard, I realized that she had been a part of the world of poetry for the entire time that I have been a poet. I've been thinking about her beautiful, challenging, vexing, provocative work that whole time, and pointedly so over the last few days. If you'd like to read--or re-read--a beautiful sequence of sonnet/sonnet-like poems, you can read this, "Twenty-One Love Poems," from Dream of a Common Language. I love the sequence, and indeed the whole book.
I also remember reading Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, a stark book, but one which shaped my own understanding of motherhood, and which I hope made me both a more compassionate person and a more conscious mother.
Anyway: I mentioned to middlebrow that I wanted to write a poem a day for a month, as Dr. Write and I and others have sometimes done, to celebrate National Poetry Month, but didn't know if I could do it. He said, "...haiku?" Which reminded me of the passage in The Beauty of the Husband, Anne Carson's prose-and-poem book of wonder, in which she (in the passage, see below) describes her practice of writing an elegiac couplet once a day, each focused on a branch outside her kitchen window:
There was a branch I used to watch from my back kitchen window
and gradually began to keep a record of it
almost every day
in elegiac couplets,
Foaming against its own green Cheek it cools in brief
or seems to cool each Underleaf
(this was in spring, or
here's one from early October)
Dull whitish and deadly as that Chalkline marked on the Door
by Homer who likened Carpentry to a Stalement in War
(or an overcast morning:)
Whose Shadow in abstract Rain appears to be
lashing the Wall at some secret Velocity
(just before a thunderstorm:)
All but bare: dangling like Bits of Bone
in an All Souls Wind just five
you see those Souls seeping up the numb
Shafts, see Souls come oaring out of the Dark alive
In the spirit of this, I am going to write a couplet a day about the honey-locust trees in front of my house. We'll see how far I get. Anyway, I'll be adding to it here, if you want to check in.