Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm immersed in words today. This month, in fact. I've been reading the words of powerful women poets and authors (and a few men, too). These include lit class standards such as Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and ee cummings, as well as others I've discovered on my own like Anais Nin and Anne Sexton. As a tribute to national poetry month, here are a few of the words that I have felt drawn to.

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
Emily Dickinson
This one brings back fond memories of high school lit class!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

I had decided that when there was no more money in my bank account I would do it, and that morning I'd spent the last of it on the black raincoat.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Never doubt or question the power of love or one woman with a shovel.
Carrie Newcomer, from her song One Woman and a Shovel

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

ee cummings

What words call to you?


Allison said...

I have a lot of favorite quotes but I recently stumbled across this one and thought it was great:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

Amanda Page said...

Hi Stephanie,
I have been so enjoying your blog. I am going to take this opportunity to be a small part of it. This quote from Emerson's essay "Self Reliance" spoke to me many years ago and I revisit it again and again.
"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till."

Steph said...

Thank you both, Allison and Amanda! Very insightful words.

MEP said...

When I was a high school teacher, I always loved planning something special for National Poetry Month in April.

Here is a single line from a poem called "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Cut and paste the following to find the poem in its entirety:

(Sorry, I don't know how to set up links in comment boxes.)

anodyne said...

On foot
I had to walk through the solar systems,
before I found the first thread of my red dress.
Already, I sense myself.
Somewhere in space hangs my heart,
sparks fly from it, shaking the air,
to other reckless hearts.

Edith Sodergran /On Foot I Had to Walk Through the Solar Systems
and from
Mary Oliver/The Plum Trees:

"Joy is a taste before
it's anything else, and the body

can lounge for hours devouring
the important moments."

Steph said...

Thank you MEP and anodyne! Great contributions!

Anonymous said...

mep & steph

I just used that very same Mary Oliver poem with agroup of women that I write with at the local jail. I read it and they wrote a response. very moving poem.


Steph said...

Amy - the work that has been in the paper from your writing program at the jail is incredible. Thank you for that service!

artandtea said...

Hi Steph,
I enjoyed reading the beautiful poetry and quotes in your post and the other comments.
I have always loved the band the Eagles and yesterday I heard "Already Gone" on the radio. I've heard this song many times over the course of my life but these words positively jumped out at me this time.
"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key."