Joseph Goldstein on dabbling in poetry: I would recommend that to anyone—it’s a wonderful mind space, I find, of actually finding clarity in confusing situations. So I may be having some experience that’s confusing. And then if I try to write a poem, the very form is demanding of clarity.
how quickly all will be forgotten, leaving us strung together on our own chain, anchored to the restlessly fleeting now
(from "To Be Opened," published in Little Patuxent Review)
I continue to find wisdom in poetry during this time, and in nature. I hope you are finding your own way to solace.
Many of the plants in my garden I associate with someone. The lily-of-the-valley came from my dear neighbor, Lisa.
Daffodils tied so I can find them in a month, dig them, separate the bulbs, and replant. These came from my wonderful mother-in-law, who planted them for me 20 years ago. (The purple flower underneath is called ajuga).
I love my comfrey. From a medicinal plants walk I took some years ago in Pennsylvania--I re-planted one and now a patch of it surrounds the red azalea. I think I put it in a smoothie once.
Our lilac has grown not a bit in 21 years, yet it hangs on and gives us these rare and deeply fragrant blossoms.
The Columbine is another long-ago gift from my mother-in-law. It grows where it likes, mostly from cracks in the driveway. Mine is a garden of survivors.
Poetry brings unexpected gifts to the writer. I hope you'll join me at an upcoming class (via Zoom). We'll be writing about grief on June 6 as part of my Yellow Arrow series (new students welcome) and I'm offering a more in-depth 6 week series (with homework) on Finding Your Poetic Voice through the Writer's Center beginning May 26.
From a student:
Your class has been very centering for me during these turbulent months and I signed up for the rest of the year. It's the only zoom space where I actually feel "all there." -Sara
All my classes welcome new writers but will also be valuable for experienced writers. I hope you can join me on this journey.
May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. May you be filled with lovingkindness. May you be filled with joy. May you be at peace and at ease.