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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Creating a 'Poetic' life

“Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.” – Muriel Rukeyser

Born on this date in 1915 and raised in New York City, Rukeyser started writing poetry while still in high school but didn’t write it seriously until 1935.  That year her first book, Theory of Flight was published by the “Yale Younger Poets Series,“ selected personally by poet laureate Stephen Vincent Benét, who wrote the book’s introduction.  
         In her lifetime Rukeyser, who also became a leading political activist, wrote 25 books, 18 of them books of poetry.  She died in 1980.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is,

                 Reading Time: 1 Minutes 26 Seconds

The fear of poetry is the
fear: mystery and fury of a midnight street
of windows whose low voluptuous voice
issues, and after that there is not peace.

The round waiting moment in the
theatre : curtain rises, dies into the ceiling
and here is played the scene with the mother
bandaging a revealed son's head. The bandage is torn off.
Curtain goes down. And here is the moment of proof.

That climax when the brain acknowledges the world,
all values extended into the blood awake.
Moment of proof. And as they say Brancusi did,
building his bird to extend through soaring air,
as Kafka planned stories that draw to eternity
through time extended. And the climax strikes.

Love touches so, that months after the look of
blue stare of love, the footbeat on the heart
is translated into the pure cry of birds
following air-cries, or poems, the new scene.
Moment of proof. That strikes long after act.

They fear it. They turn away, hand up, palm out
fending off moment of proof, the straight look, poem.
The prolonged wound-consciousness after the bullet's
The prolonged love after the look is dead,
the yellow joy after the song of the sun.

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