Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Love Letter to the World

Rupert Brooke wrote a poem entitled The Great Lover in which he listed "the hundred and one everyday things that gave [the poet] joy (Poetry Foundation)." Here is an excerpt.
These I have loved:
        White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such—
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns....

Read the poem in its entirety.
Now, I could easily write a list of all the things I love, but it would be far from poetry. So, the challenge for this week is to write your own love letter to the world highlighting all the things you love, from the exotic to the mundane, the ugly to the beautiful, and everything else in between. Don't worry, it needn't be 101 items long! Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Ooh - great Stretch, Tricia. I will put my mind to it.

  2. Still a work VERY much in progress:

    This Thing I Love in My Yard

    I loved that great fir tree,
    watched it growing for thirty-eight years.
    It kept walkers on School Street from staring into my bedroom windows
    and a resident Downey full of bugs.
    Now there is an empty space
    where a lightning strike
    killed what wind and rain and snow and ice
    and three climbing children
    had never damaged at all.
    But this new space, where the wind blows
    red and gold leaves about
    like crazed autumn dervishes
    is inviting in its own way.
    Dear One, it says, make a stone garden here,
    a place to sit, read, enjoy the sun,
    to contemplate the rambling house
    now that husband and children have left it.
    Put statues here—an owl perhaps, or a plaque,
    slate stones with phrases from poems.
    Emily Dickinson might be best:
    “A word is dead, when it is said,”
    “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,”
    “I’m nobody, who are you?”
    Short, pithy, like the space
    now that the tree is gone.
    Make a monument, a statement,
    make a taradiddle, a fantasy.
    You are good at that.
    And you have less time to do it,
    than the tree that has given you the place.

  3. That third line should be broken after

  4. Appreciating the Rarae Aves

    Winter afternoons...
    cold, gray, joyless
    until a flash of cardinal
    red opens my eyes.

    Spring mornings...
    chirps, twitters, love
    songs of early risers gently
    awaken me to possibility.

    Summer dusks...
    in the dash dart of swallows,
    finding proof that every
    creature is a piece in the puzzle.

    Fall evenings...
    far off honks of geese,
    reminders that the
    trip is all worthwhile.

  5. So hard to write about things we love, without getting saccarine! Good stretch...

    Jane enjoyed your poem.

    [Tricia you asked who I was last time. I'm the author of 10 books for kids. The latest, THUNDER-BOOMER! has garnerd 4 starred reviews thus far. My website is at I am just starting to stop by on Monday stretch days.] Poetry is at the heart of everything I write. So, having fun & glad you do this!
    Shutta. (My poem follows--still tweaking it. So...)

    Sea Song

    I had a life as simple and full as the sea.
    And out of the surf I carried stories—
    wet, and unraveling.

    I had a man who dove into water
    and cradled my heart like a prize.
    I had a child with tides to travel,
    and another with kelpie eyes.

    I had land on a windy cliff,
    and a house that danced as it sang.
    I had cats and dogs that spoke my tongue,
    and a bird that proclaimed my name.

    I had a strong hand clasped in mine,
    and hallowed work to craft.
    I had little hands that followed,
    and mysteries that made us laugh.

    I had a piece of floating ribbon
    plucked from my mother’s hair.
    I had a word of wisdom my father
    found pooled in a magical year.

    I had a friend who died too soon,
    and another who died too late.
    I had brothers and sisters and strangers,
    who waved as they rounded the cape.

    I had a place in my own time,
    and a joy for the labors I sing.
    I had a son, a daughter, and a man,
    and hearts to set a-cradling.

    So make me a promise will you?
    If you should ever speak of me,
    remember what I’ve said:
    I had a life as simple and full as the sea.

    And out of the surf I carried stories—
    wet, and unraveling.

  6. Gad, the trouble with this Stretch is where do you stop? Naming the things you love? The list gets long. Maybe the trick is to make it here's mine. All sincere, but selective.

    A Love Song

    To Dappled things, of course, but why stop there?
    To Hopkins and his God, to Yeats and Heaney and O'Hara.
    Ditto the bare bottoms of toddlers, plus their plump thighs.
    Love those. To their ear lobes. To their mangled prose.
    To the sighs of various tides from Bahia Kino to Banyuls.
    To toolboxes. Lunch boxes. Pencil boxes.
    To knocks at the door when I know it's my sister.
    To Bronte's mist on the moor. To Mr. Rogers - miss him.
    To Whitman loving everything large, to the way
    he sang. Still sings. And other things: Yellow in January,
    deep green in July. Saturn and its rings. Crescent moons.
    Cupcakes plain or pink. The blink of an eye that’s long.
    Last but not least, jujubes. To all these things - Glory Be.

  7. Julie--Glory be! I loved your stretch for this past week. Shutta