I thought I’d print the Hyacinthe Hill poem Reaching Toward Beauty from last week’s blog. I can find very little about Ms. Hill on the internet. The poem is from the book, When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple:
You love declines. You, thinking little lines
aound my eyes are fallen lashes, try
to brush them off. I do exfoliate.
In this autumn of my being, parts of me
fly, like tossed and wintry-blasted leaves.
I don’t regret their passing. I must work
to make a clean and crystal-perfect form.
have sacrificed the fat, and froth, and fur
of youth, to walk through fire, leap in the dark,
swim inward rivers, pray at a wailing wall.
The wrinkles, sags, the graying hair are earned.
You mourn like a child over a broken doll.
Only the core of this crone was ever real……….
Wow. This is what I love about poets, their ability to seize some small formation of words and make them explode in the imagination. I tell people who ask me about writing to read poetry to internalize the beauty of language. I tell them to listen to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on NPR, a poem a day the man reads to us, bless him. Imagine what life might be like if the first thing we heard in the morning was a poem, if we chewed on its meaning all day, instead of what we do chew on.
It was the quest of pre-scientists in the 16th century to turn lead into gold. We are the alchemists of our lives. What brew are you making? Bitter or sweet? Forgiving or vengeful?