poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
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jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexconall
For those interested, I have a poetry Patreon. Most of the poems on the creations tab haven't made it onto my Dreamwidth yet, so if you're following my poetry on Dreamwidth and not Patreon, you're missing out.

If you are unfamiliar with Patreon: the deal is, artists create, patrons pay artists either by creation or by month as the artist prefers. (I have chosen by creation.) Artists may lock posts so that only patrons, or only patrons who have pledged a certain amount, may see them. (I have not chosen to do so.) Patrons may cap their contributions so that, if they for example pledge $1/creation and cap it at $5/month and the artist posts six creations in that month, the patron only pays $5. Artists get money for creating art they love, patrons support the arts they love and creators they at least like, everybody wins.

What If: 'Hotter Than Average'

Date: 2015-03-22 04:53 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: closeup of library dragon balancing book on its head (library dragon 2)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
This is somewhat tangential to my usual type of Picnic offering, but I was struck the other week by the wonderful attention to language and context in the 'What If?' post Hotter than Average
When the sign at the hot springs told you that the water there was "hotter than average," it wasn't just saying, "This water is hot." In a sense, it was saying, "This water, unlike all the springwater most of us ever encounter, isn't tied to the average summer/winter day/night air temperature for the area. This water is hotter than average."

[image of sign with text:]

Warning: The behaviors you've developed, guided by our collective experiences in a world dominated by the warmth of sunlight, will not safeguard your life when you enter.

YOU ARE LEAVING THE DOMAIN OF THE SUN.
Edited Date: 2015-03-22 04:55 pm (UTC)

Chinua Achebe, "Beware Soul Brother"

Date: 2015-03-22 05:26 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
We are the men of soul
men of song we measure out
our joys and agonies
too, our long, long passion week
in paces of the dance. We have
come to know from surfeit of suffering
that even the Cross need not be
a dead end nor total loss
if we should go to it striding
the dirge of the soulful abia drums. . . .
   But beware soul brother
of the lures of ascension day
the day of soporific levitation
on high winds of skysong; beware
for others there will be that day
lying in wait leaden-footed, tone-deaf
passionate only for the deep entrails
of our soil; beware of the day
we head truly skyward leaving
that spoil to the long ravenous tooth
and talon of their hunger.
Our ancestors, soul brother, were wiser
than is often made out. Remember
they gave Ala, great goddess
of their earth, sovereignty too over
their arts for they understood
too well those hard-headed
men of departed dance where a man’s
foot must return whatever beauties
it may weave in air, where
it must return for safety
and renewal of strength. Take care
then, mother’s son, lest you become
a dancer disinherited in mid-dance
hanging a lame foot in air like the hen
in a strange unfamiliar compound. Pray
protect this patrimony to which
you must return when the song
is finished and the dancers disperse;
remember also your children
for they in their time will want
a place for their feet when
they come of age and the dance
of the future is born
for them.

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