Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Poetry


September rain falls on the house.
In the falling light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from her almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It's time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle's small, hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac,

on it's string. Birdlike, the almanac,
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.
~ Elizabeth Bishop

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Almanac image found here. You should click on it and look at it big. It's pretty interesting. I know it's not September, but I had to share this gorgeous poem. I knew I'd never be able to wait nine months before posting it.


Tracy said...

Lovely Sunday poem!

SE'LAH... said...

Happy Sunday, Relyn.
this poem is a great addition to my day.

one love.

Gigi said...

Sometimes it's spooky how much we are connected by poems, you and I. I was just tutoring a student on Friday, and we talked a lot about Elizabeth Bishop. This is one of her greats, although she is probably the poet, along with Milosz, who has influenced me more than anyone else, so there are many of her poems that I think of as favorites. It's just damn hard to write a good sestina. It's also hard to write a good villanelle, which is why "One Art" is so, so brilliant.

When are we going to be neighbors so we can meet and talk poems and life and other fun stuff? xoxo

Andrea said...

Hope you have an awesome Sunday!!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Such a story in those few words...beautiful.


Jessica said...

I'm glad you didn't wait 9 months to post this poem! Lovely!

Kim Living Life said...

Oh Relyn, this is just beautiful, it's Monday here now but still a beautiful moving Sunday poem

Anonymous said...

your words always touch me...thank you!

Tracy said...

I have always greatly admired the poetry of E. Bishop... I've got shivers reading this! When I was in high school there was a girl in my class named Sestina...very pretty name. Happy Week, Relyn :o) ((HUGS))

Marilyn said...

A lovely poem and definitely worth sharing now.

gkgirl said...

beautiful words
and thank you
for sharing them...

Jeanie said...

Time to plant tears. Oh, how I love this!

Jaime said...

This is so beautiful with all of its tears. So beautiful. I would like to go explore her poetry a little more.

Oldies, but Goodies