My Latest New Favorite Poet: Faith Shearin

My latest new favorite poet is Faith Shearin. Ms. Shearin’s poem (from American Life in Poetry: Column 492), “Music at My Mother’s Funeral”, shows the unmistakable ability of a great poet to combine disparate, seemingly unrelated components (her mother’s imminent passing, music, the mundane sound of a car’s warning chime) into a single, cohesive, powerful image. It proves and cements the idea of poet as artist, beautifully.

Music at My Mother’s Funeral


During the weeks when we all believed my mother
was likely to die she began to plan
her funeral and she wanted us, her children,
to consider the music we would play there. We remembered
the soundtrack of my mother’s life: the years when she swept
the floors to the tunes of an eight track cassette called Feelings,
the Christmas when she bought a Bing Crosby album
about a Bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. She got Stravinsky’s
Rite of Spring stuck in the tape deck of her car and for months
each errand was accompanied by some kind
of dramatic movement. After my brother was born,
there was a period during which she wore a muumuu
and devoted herself to King Sunny Ade and his
African beats. She ironed and wept to Evita, painted
to Italian opera. Then, older and heavier, she refused
to fasten her seatbelt and there was the music
of an automated bell going off every few minutes,
which annoyed the rest of us but did not seem to matter
to my mother who ignored its relentless disapproval,
its insistence that someone was unsafe.

The last part, to me, is the most effective. One can hear the unfastened seat belt’s “music of an automated bell” so clearly (as most have heard it and can identify), and via this simple sound, Ms. Shearin ties it all together. We know more about her mother after reading the entire piece, but the end sharpens the edges of her portrait of her mother, bringing it all into pristine focus.

The full article can be found by clicking here.
Additionally, here is a small bio about her at the website for the National Endowment for the Arts: Faith Shearin (By the way, the poem at the end of this article is as powerful as the one above, so READ IT! ;-) )

Enjoy!

Jamy

A Rhythm Runs Through It has hit the 400 Follower Mark!

400 WordPress Followers!

I just wanted to take a moment to stop and smell the roses, 400 of them to be exact! A HUGE thanks to everyone who took a moment to click “Follow” after visiting (and thanks to ALL my Visitors and Likers as well, it is truly appreciated!).

Thank you all so much!

:-D ;-) :-D

Jamy (A Rhythm Runs Through It)

“Heat Wave”

mmonroe_heatwave

fragramarilynmonroe.blogspot.com

Greetings Bloginistas!

As promised, an original work by yours truly! It has been SO HOT here in Southern California that I decided to write about it. I hope this poem gives a feel of what it’s been like these past weeks. Enjoy!

Heat Wave

Walking
in the hot, hot sun
through
staggered
curtains
of
heavy, solar
velvet.

I half expect
some
shock
to appear from
behind
the next curtain;
a monster or
a man from Omaha –
a long-lost wallet or
missing set of keys –
but it’s just
more heat;

Heat rising off
pavement –
opaquely
transparent:
a dirty window,
a thought fully formed
but not communicated,
meditation, interrupted.

This much
heat
is like fog, but
an oxymoron,
because fog requires
Nyx’s curtain
to first be
darkly drawn
across the evening sky,
but the way
my head feels and
eyes see,
fog makes
perfect sense.

But there is no
judgment
or
reason in
heat like this,
only absence and
an unending, relentless
pressure,
a darkness
that can be felt
even when,
all around,
there’s light.

© Jamy Sweet 2014-09-22

Jamy :-D

A Quick Programming Note…

To All My Gorgeous Bloginistas,

arhythmrunsthroughit.wordpress.com is now simply http://www.arhythmrunsthroughit.com!

I have meant to register the domain for some time now, and finally took a moment to put thoughts in to action!

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

–Thomas Jefferson

Jamy ;oD

p.s. Up Next: An original work by yours truly! (and no, “yours truly” is not a pseudonym of e e cummings…HA!)

My Latest New Favorite Poet: Roy Scheele

My latest new favorite poet is Roy Scheele. The below poem (from American Life in Poetry: Column 342) is spectacular. The words are woven together so beautifully and the result is a fine fabric of language. This sonnet does what many truly great poems do; take everyday experiences and make them somehow universal.

Woman Feeding Chickens


Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist,
sunk to the wrist in the rustling grain
that nuzzles her fingertips when laced
around a sifting handful. It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve,
except that less escapes you through the chinks
when handling grain. She likes to feel it give
beneath her hand’s slow plummet, and the smell,
so rich a fragrance she has never quite
got used to it, under the seeming spell
of the charm of the commonplace. The white
hens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes,
till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies.

My personal favorite lines:

“It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve, …”

What a marvelous comparison!

The full article can be found by clicking here.

Enjoy! ;oD

Jamy

A Little Bit about Frank O’Hara

I was reading an article today on The Poetry Foundation’s website about the 50th Anniversary of Frank O’Hara’s “Lunch Poems” and wanted to share it with all my fellow Bloginistas along with a poem of his of which I am rather fond. I have always loved Mr. O’Hara’s work, and after reading the article and the following poem, I hope you’ll see why.

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

© Frank O’Hara, Lunch Poems, 1964

My favorite line is the last line:
“oh Lana Turner we love you get up”

It evokes emotion, movement, and the sense of what happened in the poem and in real life.

Enjoy! :-D :-D
Jamy

Happy Fourth of July! An Independence Day-Related New Favorite Poet: Barbara Crooker

My latest new favorite poet is Barbara Crooker (from American Life in Poetry: Column 484).

Those of us that can identify writing our names and other words or shapes in the air with sparklers (as children OR adults ;-) ) should feel a certain nostalgia when reading the below piece. The real thing about the poem though, is the almost filigreed fineness of the words themselves.

Sparklers

We’re writing our names with sizzles of light
to celebrate the fourth. I use the loops of cursive,
make a big B like the sloping hills on the west side
of the lake. The rest, little a, r, one small b,
spit and fizz as they scratch the night. On the side
of the shack where we bought them, a handmade sign:
Trailer Full of Sparkles Ahead, and I imagine crazy
chrysanthemums, wheels of fire, glitter bouncing
off metal walls. Here, we keep tracing in tiny
pyrotechnics the letters we were given at birth,
branding them on the air. And though my mother’s
name has been erased now, I write it, too:
a big swooping I, a hissing s, an a that sighs
like her last breath, and then I ring
belle, belle, belle in the sulphuric smoky dark.

My favorite lines:

“And though my mother’s
name has been erased now, I write it, too:
a big swooping I, a hissing s, an a that sighs
like her last breath…”

In them, she lets the reader know, in a certain, special way, that the sparklers help her feel her mother again.

The full article can be found by clicking here.

Enjoy! :-D

Jamy