April 26, 2006

Small Book; Small Poems

I keep a small writing book where I write small poems. I think it's similar to the way fish won't grow beyond a certain size depending on the size tank they live in, or the way a flowerpot can sometimes limit the size of the plant in it. I only use one page per poem in that book. It's almost a form for me. It allows me to limit what I must and can write.

I paged through an anthology today and pulled out a few small poems that caught my attention this afternoon while I was sitting in the shade of my backyard. There's probably some early summer, hot day, sitting in shade, getting sleepy while you're reading theme that runs through the selections... but I don't want to look for it.


Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.

Galway Kinnell


You love the roses - so do I. I wish
They sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!

George Eliot

The Eclipse

I stood out in the open cold
To see the essence of the eclipse
Which was its perfect darkness.

I stood in the cold on the porch
And could not think of anything so perfect
As mans hope of light in the face of darkness.

Richard Eberhart

Time and Again

Time and again, however well we know the landscape of love,
and the little church-yard with lamenting names,
and the frightfully silent ravine wherein all the others
end: time and again we go out two together,
under the old trees, lie down again and again
between the flowers, face to face with the sky.

Rainer Maria Rilke


My hands
open the curtains of your being
clothe you in a further nudity
uncover the bodies of your body
My hands
invent another body for your body

Octavio Paz


  1. I notice you illustrated this with a Moleskin notebook - very appropriate. They have quite the history. I feel different when I write in them and, yes, I do write more succinctly in the smallest versions and more expansively in the sketchbook sizes.

  2. I got hooked on Moleskine notebooks in my teen years when I fancied that writing with the little journal that was the same as the one Hemingway used would somehow transform my own writing.

  3. Although I read this blog with some regularity, I missed this entry back in late April and just discovered it today. Funny thing is I just bought my first two Moleskine notebooks two weeks ago with the intention of using one for journaling and one for poetry. I hate to admit it but both are sitting here untouched--somehow my everyday thoughts don't seem quite worthy of a notebook that has a history. Maybe the next writing prompt will break the spell, and I will finally put down some words.

  4. That's interesting that the cachet of the Moleskine is working AGAINST your writing! I think I need to do an entry on just this little notebook...


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