Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poet as Secretary

Throwback to my "SKY" year! See poem below...
taking this picture was me being a secretary.
So this is the week I hope to catch up some! I've got no overnight travel this week, which is a relief... and the list of blog posts I have yet to write is so very long... but, the garden is calling. And the cello. And my work-in-progress....

Meanwhile, back to the post!

Today I'm excited to share with you some poetry that's meandered my way thanks to some lovely women in my life.

First, my friend Sarah at Shine Memoirs shared links to podcasts featuring interviews with poets like Mary Oliver and Marie Howe. I listened to the one with Mary Oliver on a drive back from the north Georgia mountains where I spent a lovely few days with dear ones. Really wonderful. You can many other inspiring podcasts at On Being with Krista Tippett.

Next, April Halprin Wayland shared with me a poem Alison McGhee shared with her:

Taking It Home to Jerome     - David Kirby
In Baton Rouge, there was a DJ on the soul station who was
always urging his listeners to “take it on home to Jerome.”
No one knew who Jerome was. And nobody cared. So it
didn’t matter. I was, what, ten, twelve? I didn’t have anything
to take home to anyone. Parents and teachers told us that all
we needed to do in this world were three things: be happy,
do good, and find work that fulfills you. But I also wanted
to learn that trick where you grab your left ankle in your
right hand and then jump through with your other leg.
Everything else was to come, everything about love:
the sadness of it, knowing it can’t last, that all lives must end,
all hearts are broken. Sometimes when I’m writing a poem,
I feel as though I’m operating that crusher that turns
a full-size car into a metal cube the size of a suitcase.
At other times, I’m just a secretary: the world has so much
to say, and I’m writing it down. This great tenderness.
This great tenderness, indeed! Let's celebrate the secretary. xo
Listen to the poem on Soundcloud.


  1. Love this poem. The honesty of it stabs me. On Being is one of my favorite podcasts. Sometimes it's way over my head, so I just listen to the voice of Krista Tippet. A voice like fine wine.

  2. That 'crusher' is an intriguing metaphor, and of course the 'secretary' is what we all are, capturing our lives as seen, maybe missing some parts because of the daily challenges of surviving. I was thinking how fortunate we are to take time to be, instead of the worry for the next meal. Glad you had a lovely family time, Irene. That picture is gorgeous!

  3. A poem worth re-reading, Irene. Thanks for sharing it, and especially for reading it to us. (I am still thinking about that crusher, too, Linda.)

  4. chairs... there need to be chairs... I wonder who said that


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