Friday, July 11, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Revisiting the Unicorn and a poem from Scottish poet Don Paterson

Thank you to  Linda at Write Time for hosting Poetry Friday today!
 
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About a year ago, I posted one of my favorite excerpts from Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. The poem, which is about a unicorn, begins like this:

O this is the beast who does not exist.
They didn't know that, and in any case
--with its stance, its arched neck and easy grace,
the light of its limpid gaze --they could not resist
but loved it though, indeed, it was not.
From Sonnets to Orpheus II, 4 by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926 ), translated by Robert Hunter, 1993.
You can read more of this post here.
For a “beast who does not exist,” the unicorn has certainly captivated the hearts and imaginations of legions over the years. Growing up, I was fascinated by the idea of unicorns, and I still have a soft spot for these beautiful, elusive creatures. In my research this week, I came upon a lovely adaptation of Rilke’s poem by Scottish poet Don Paterson. A jazz-musician-turned-poet, Patterson’s take on Rilke’s poem sings for me. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Unicorn
by Don Paterson (1963- )
 
This is the animal that never was.
Not knowing that, they loved it anyway;
its bearing, its stride, its high, clear whinny,
right down to the still light of its gaze.
Please click here and read the rest of this poem. 
To learn more about Don Paterson, click here.

It is always a pleasure to come across poetry that resonates on a personal and artistic level. What poems “sing” for you?

Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

CLEANING OUT THE COBWEBS

Summer is in full swing at my house. School is a distant memory, swim team is wrapped up, VBS is over, and my family just returned home from a week-long camping trip to beautiful Brevard, NC (more to come about this lovely town in a future post).

The last month has been enriching, exciting, and FUN. But now that we are home and the laundry is mostly done, we are definitely in need of some R&R. I’m looking forward to focusing on my summer writing goals, catching up on reading, camping more with my family, and cleaning out closets (yes—I am super excited about this, too. If I was brave enough to post a picture of my linen closet right now, you’d *completely* understand why!☺).
What does all of this have to do with writing? Well, for me, an important part of the whole writing process is “cleaning out the cobwebs.” Summer gives me an opportunity to slow down, regroup, and purposefully accomplish things that need to be done, but that aren’t high on my priority list in busier times (like those closets).
When I de-clutter and organize my physical surroundings, I am calmer and more focused, and able to accomplish more in the long run. Although I don’t look forward to this task, I attack it tenaciously each year. Exercise is also a great way to “clean out the cobwebs,” and for me is essential for stress control. If I exercise outdoors, I reap twice the benefits. Baking is also one of my favorite “cleansing” practices, although it can negate all of the exercise benefits if I’m not careful!

What do you do to “clean out the cobwebs,” in summer or during the rest of the year? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
Happy Summer, and Happy Writing!