Archive for category Poetry

Time to Create

Mary Oliver's quote about creativity

Mary Oliver

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

Mary Oliver

To write to your heart’s content….paint till you drop…play music obsessively…whichever you even have the tiniest spark to do,  just start.  We can surprise ourselves and find out things about ourselves we never realized we could do, just because we started!  – JQ

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. […]
The world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

From “Wild Geese”;
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Octopus

Isoda Koryusai

Source: taosozugalactor

蛸壺やはかなき夢を夏の月
takotsubo ya hakanaki yume o natsu no tsuki

an octopus pot —
inside, a short-lived dream
under the summer moon

Matsuo Basho

 

“An octopus that has entered the pot is content with the small world of its own and enjoys a night’s dream, never suspecting that it might be pulled up in the morning. A man born into this world is like that, too, as he lives a life as brief as a dewdrop. Such a view is presented in this poem. In view of the site, there may be historical allusions, too.”  –Koseki

“Isn’t it impossible to imagine that Basho had completely entered the mind of an octopus inside the pot? He became an octopus, so to speak.”  -Watsuji

And still another interpretation:

“In the Japanese poetic tradition, those who complain of the shortness of the summer night are, above all, lovers who have to part in the morning. Basho drew upon that traditional mood of romantic love and applied it to the life of an octopus dreaming a short dream in a pot, thereby turning it into humor.”  -Yamamoto

The aforementioned haiku and commentary were
translated by Professor Emeritus Makoto Ueda.

 Note about the print:  Isoda Koryūsai (礒田湖龍斎 1735-1790?) was a Japanese printmaker and painter active from approximately 1764 to 1788.  (via Wikipedia)

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The Knot

“O time, thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!”

-William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

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Loie Fuller

Loie Fuller dancing with her veil, 1897

Photograph by Isaiah West Taber (1830-1912)

(C) RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Michèle Bellot

Koloman Moser

Fuller depicted by Koloman Moser (1901)

“to Odette”

Fair white swan of mystic night
singing me wave upon wave
of moonlight

you spin and white lace encircles you
spirals of echoing light

a rapid bouree to a moonbeam
and the cold calculating scent of morning
hangs like icicles from your breath

caress me gently, my dove,
kiss me!
– the cold still kiss of night
of death
(a wane hand upon my shoulder now)

embrace
a circle of lines
a symmetry of passion
ending in arabesque
your converging planes
form a portal to my soul

love, fair, sweet swan of love!

-(c) 1998 Gustav BenJava

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A New Face for the Cat

Linda Butler

Rural Japan

Noh and KyÔ gen Masks, Yamagata-ken

 

on the year’s last night

a new face for the cat…

devil’s mask

Issa

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This Autumn Evening

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by  Ohara Koson

           No one travels
           Along this way but I,
           This Autumn evening.
                                             -Basho

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the grand old man of Beat publication and founder of The City Lights bookshop and publishing house – and fine poet in his own right, turns 92 today!

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti – from Coney Island of the Mind

Don’t let that horse
eat that violin

cried Chagall’s mother

But he
kept right on
painting

And became famous

And kept on painting
The Horse with Violin In Mouth

And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
and rode away

waving the violin

And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across

And there were no strings
attached

(Photo: Scott Sommerdorf, 1987)

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