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Saturday, January 7, 2023

'Most beautifully alive!"


“To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.” – John Albert Holmes

Holmes, born in January 1904, was a poet, critic, and teacher, the profession he cherished as a 30-year professor at Tufts.  "When he taught," wrote one student, "something magical happened. He made you want to write and understand poetry. He didn't lecture; he encouraged."   Holmes organized workshops, summer conferences, adult education courses, and conversations over coffee—for poetry, poetry, poetry.


His own writings included 10 volumes of poetry and a book on writing poetry. For Saturday’s Poem, here is Holmes’,


       Noon Waking

All that long April morning while you slept

The poplar trees were dripping in the rain.

The room’s cool indoor darkness kindly kept

The quick dreams hurrying through your brain.

Lying so late asleep, you could not say

When the slow rainy wind began to stir,

Or when I rose in the dark and went away,

Or what the last three words I whispered were.


The flight of stumbling dream broke and stopped going –

You half sat up in bed to blink and listen.

You heard, like me, the wind in gray skies blowing,

And saw the three tall poplars drip and glisten.


Far on the rutted road when you awoke,

I heard, I heard, the shattered words you spoke.



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