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Posts from April 2015

The poetry of hands holding out my thanks, 57

ImageOh, the beauty in those raised hands / detail from a Jan Luyken and Pieter Arentsz etching; circa 1687

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks

~ "Just Now" by W. S. Merwin

Visitation from the sun

Photo 3Mitza's tulips

... which seemed like a
visitation from the sun, urging me to tell you, in
case like me you had forgotten

     we are the universe's latest way of blooming.

~ an excerpt from Untitled ["This poem is not meant for you"] by Willow Harth

Improvement in all lines of endeavor

Liza-arrival-2Liza's arrival in New York, Nov. 1906 / She started from Krk, Croatia; her final destination is 1714 Master St. Camden, NJ / Uncle Josip met her in NY and bought her a new hat and took her to meet friend in New York before heading to Camden /

This is the city of Camden that Jelisava moved to: At the annual gathering of the Board of Trade last week the value of some of the city's manufactories was expressed something in this wise: "Camden has within its border a population of nearly 100,000 and shipbuilding firms that can either supply a launch or the greatest battleship; the larges lace curtain manufactory in America, a talking machine that speaks every known language; iron works that make enough pipe to girdle the earth: leather manufactories that tan skins from all parts of the globe; the larges furniture house whose products reach to the Philippines; banks and trust companies whose resources are not affected by panics; linoleum works which manufacture one-half the country's whole product; a plant whose kitchens annually make enough soup to float all the vessels built in our shipyards; a nickle works which furnishes Uncle Sam with material for slot machines; a department store, whose experiment has proved a decided success; pen works, which produce two-thirds of the pens used in the world; an expanded metal works -- the material produced there will stretch from Maine to Texas and its mills rival the largest.
So, with the thousands of homes, its scores of industries, its charitable institutions and the manifold creations of a modern civilization, Camden is a city which is not slow, which is always in the van of progress and municipal improvement in all lines of endeavor.

[Excerpted from "Camden, Now Eighty Years Old, is Proud of its Wonderful Growth, City on Saint Valentine's Day, Will Observe the Anniversary of Its Incorporation---Some Facts and Figures Concerning "Slow Town" Across the River", Philadelphia Inquirer; February 2, 1908]

As a tree contains its rings

ImageDetail of Francesca's artwork

"We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones."

~ Tomas Tranströmer

A reverence for the past

Photo (1)Streets of Philadelphia with GGMom

"Since I was a very small child, I've had a kind of reverence for the past, and I felt a very intimate connection with it. When I began, it was just being enthralled by the lives of the members of my family who -- really, it didn't seem to make any difference in day-to-day talk whether people were alive or dead. I'm one of these children who grew up at the knee of my grandmother and her elder sister, listening to very old people talk about their memories. And as I say, in their conversation, everything was as if it happened yesterday. And the dead were discussed along with the living. And the difference really didn't seem to matter. And I suppose this seeped into my viewpoint. Instead of thinking there was a wall between the living and the dead, I thought there was a very thin veil. It was almost as if they'd just gone into the next room."

~ Hilary Mantel