Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good News and Good News

James Wright

Well, there is good news and then there is good news. The primary good news appears to be that, for now, the computer troubles I was having are in the rear view. The other good news, which is really bad news that I choose to view as good news, is I've fallen considerably behind in putting together cogent thoughts for posts and so today I'm going to simply post a poem from one of the Near Perfect Books of Poetry list.

This is the well I've gone to perhaps the most from that list and I do intend to move on but it's time for one last poem. This, from James Wright's The Branch Will Not Break:

I Was Afraid of Dying

I was afraid of dying
In a field of dry weeds.
But now,
All day long I have been walking among damp fields,
Trying to keep still, listening
To insects that move patiently.
Perhaps they are sampling the fresh dew that gathers slowly
In empty snail shells
And in the secret shelters of sparrow feathers fallen on the
James Wright

More soon,


Charles Gramlich said...

These days I seem to be afraid of dying every day.

I'm glad your computer woes have gone.

Ed Baker said...

hey Charles

most of my poet-friends are dead!

Updike just about 8 years older than me..

what are those 5 Buddhist Evil "things" that cause ALL suffering?:

Greed, Anger. Desire (Want). Ignorance. (AND)


just "be" yourself... entirely re:gardless of


be absolutely

ease up on adjectives
and abstraction

silence is the last word

(I paraphrase CC) now will click onto your site/blog ...

L. Espenmiller said...

I have to get this book of poetry. Glad, Don, that you've not exhausted your desire to share Wright's work from this collection.


Charles - I've become somewhat obsessed with death these days - my own, of those I most cherish - maybe it's what happens at midlife (?) Anyway, when some new subject comes into my field, I read about it as part of my way of processing. Two books on death that I dig: "Nothing to be Frightened Of" by Julian Barnes (Barnes' British sense of humor is spot on) and Being with Dying by Zen Priest Joan Halifax. One of the things she offers is a meditation practice in which you focus on your own death. It's pretty trippy. I did it every day for 2 weeks - a bit freaky at first and then oddly peaceful, and even a relief.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles, that's a long line we're all standing in - up and down the planet. Thanks, too, for the good wishes, much computer relief ...

Ed, always pointing back to where we're heading! Yes, those 5 Buddhist things ...

Lisa, amazing meditation, lots of courage there (kind of made me think of the isolation tank craze of the past, which always gave me the willies because of claustrophobia, which is somehow supposed to be death related) - very glad you liked the Wright ...

Funny because all this talk of Mr. D. when I'm working on a post on Omar Khayyam and talking of his preoccupation with death. Lisa, I think I'll be at least mentioning the book "The Denial of Death" by Becker that recounts how culturally we got to this death place.