Friday, February 02, 2007

St Bridgid's Day Poetry Reading

Last year Reya threw a poetry reading in honor of St. Brigid. This year, Deborah Oak is hosting the event. I find I'm reading much the same poetry as last year--for me, midwinter is John Donne season. Part of it is his surprising use of science language and imagery.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;
    Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres, 
    Though greater far, is innocent. 

Dull sublunary lovers' love 
    --Whose soul is sense--cannot admit 
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
    The thing which elemented it.  
Part of it is the mingling of the profane and the divine. I keep coming back to "The Anniversaries." They are too long for a poetry reading, and I can't seem to excerpt, so here is a shorter, strange musing, "The Relic" by John Donne.


            When my grave is broke up again
            Some second guest to entertain,
            --For graves have learn'd that woman-head,
            To be to more than one a bed--
                And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
                Will he not let us alone,
And think that there a loving couple lies,
Who thought that this device might be some way
To make their souls at the last busy day
Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?

            If this fall in a time, or land,
            Where mass-devotion doth command,
            Then he that digs us up will bring
            Us to the bishop or the king,
                To make us relics; then
Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen, and I
                A something else thereby;
All women shall adore us, and some men.
And, since at such time miracles are sought,
I would have that age by this paper taught
What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.

            First we loved well and faithfully,
            Yet knew not what we loved, nor why;
            Difference of sex we never knew,
            No more than guardian angels do;
                Coming and going we
Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;
                Our hands ne'er touch'd the seals,
Which nature, injured by late law, sets free.
These miracles we did ; but now alas!
All measure, and all language, I should pass,
Should I tell what a miracle she was.

1 comment:

deborah oak said...

thank you. Great poetry, great site!! What a gift Bridgid has given!!