Le fil de ce jour #44; how to be a poet and a complete human being

When power corrupts, poetry cleanses John F. Kennedy

a good take today

Wendell Berry on How to Be a Poet and a Complete Human Being


(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.






Le fil de ce jour #41 ; Praise Song for the Day

praise song for walking forward in that light.


Those were the days my friend

Straight to my heart


Praise Song for the Day

Elizabeth Alexander, 1962


Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.

Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,

the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.


Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,

others by first do no harm or take no more

than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?


Love beyond marital, filial, national,

love that casts a widening pool of light,

love with no need to pre-empt grievance.


In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,

any thing can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,


praise song for walking forward in that light.


Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth Alexander









le fil #33 poetry in time of protest


never more

le beat des dispersions du coeur / les os qui brûlent la bouche / les impuretés de l’émotion  Robert Fortin les nouveaux poètes d’Amérique

lovely bit of post…i want to put few good words

i find it hard to start

when upsetting the status quo

when the world is upside down

the crowds, the drama, the cycles

rage, rage against the dying of the light, Dylan Thomas


Poetry in a time of protest, come to me

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
« Even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night. »
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.
Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

« Speech to the Young » by Gwendolyn Brooks, from BLACKS
(Chicago, IL: Third World Press, 1991). Copyright © 1991 by Gwendolyn Brooks Blakely.




de moi à toi

peace & poetry