Friday, February 11, 2011
Poetry and Biscuits
I am a big poetry reader. I grew up on it, thrive on it, lived for it in high school, and even dabble with writing it. If I had to choose one favorite poet it would be Carl Sandburg. The man was a genius. He writes the most realistic and accessible poetry I've ever read. People who think they don't like poetry should read Sandburg. He writes of the every day in the way we like to think of it in our heads. Like when you imagine how you would draw something - your mind makes it so so beautiful but your hand just can't translate it to the page.
Sandburg also wrote some of the most wonderful children's stories ever recorded (The Rootabaga Stories) and wonderful biographies. The man was incredible and is such a hero of mine. One of his quotes that I especially love is "Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits." It is literally the first quotation I added to my file of "quotes I might embroider."
Should I babble on about embroidery and color choices and motifs and charts? Certainly not. I'll babble about that tomorrow (the piece is actually finished now but I want to take daylight photos). Instead I shall share with you some excerpts from what is perhaps my favorite Sandburg poem, Honey and Salt. It is found in the book of the same name, which is also my favorite Sandburg book ever.
When boy meets girl or girl meets boy--
They all help: be cozy but not too cozy:
be shy, bashful, mysterious, yet only so-so:
then forget everything you ever heard about love
for it's a summer tan and a winter windburn
and it comes as weather comes and you can't change it:
it comes like your face came to you, like your legs came
and the way you walk, talk, hold your head and hands--
and nothing can be done about it--you wait and pray.
Is the key to love in passion, knowledge, affection?
All three--along with moonlight, roses, groceries,
givings and forgivings, gettings and forgettings,
keepsakes and room rent,
pearls of memory along with ham and eggs.
How long does love last?
As long as glass bubbles handled with care
or two hot-house orchids in a blizzard
or one solid immovable steel anvil
tempered in sure inexorable welding--
or again love might last as
six snowflakes, six hexagonal snowflakes,
six floating hexagonal flakes of snow
Bidden or unbidden? how comes love?
Both bidden and unbidden, a sneak and a shadow,
a dawn in a doorway throwing a dazzle
or a sash of light in a blue fog,
a slow blinking of two red lanterns in river mist
I'll post the full poem in the comments. I don't want to overwhelm you. It is worth reading. I meant to read it at my sister's wedding but I was crying too much (which surprised me greatly, I adore my sister and brother-in-law but I'm not the "crying at weddings" sort).