June 19, 2011

In the other land… #PoetrySummer, Week 3

David listened as I recited another poem this week, Lines for an Early Returning Home, by our late friend, George Scarbrough.

No, it was not fear that returned me here.
I would have come back some day at morning,
Shedding signs of strange earth by the way
I came, breaking the monstrous vision. No,
It was not fear. Only the hogback ridge, it was,
In the other land, only the field of sedge,
Purple as night, over the hogback growing.
Let me assure you it was not fear,
Only the sound of leaves, the sigh of leaves,
And the way of mountains in the other land.

Score! I got it right.

David was also patient enough to listen to me say the two other poems I’ve done for #PoetrySummer again. I wanted to test how well I had learned them. Turns out I only made one mistake, in the poem by Wendell Berry, which is kind of funny because that’s the smallest poem I’ve done so far. (Have I mentioned what a sweet husband I have? Well, if the answer is yes, I’m sorry, but it’s Father’s Day, so I’m doing it again.)

Eva and I baked David and his dad pecan pies earlier. Now, I have nuts seasoned with orange juice and garam masala roasting in the oven for my dad. (He’s not eating sweets right now, so pie would be a horrible thing to do to him.) The house smells marvelous, like a family gathering in a way, which might have influenced the poem I’ve just picked for next week. When I was a kid and we visited my Grandma (my father’s mother), my parents and I would get to her house late at night. We’d talk for a few minutes, my parents and I lined up on the couch, my grandma in her armchair, and Aunt Florine in her rocking, red recliner. Soon, we’d all head to bed. But first thing after breakfast, before going outside, well before jigsaw or chinese checkers, I’d grab Grandma’s big blue book of poems and read a few of my favorites with her. (I keep the book now that she has passed away.) My favorite poem to read with her was The Duel by Eugene Field. I’m going to memorize it this week. I’ve carried snippets of this poem in my head my whole life (I even wear a gingham dog and calico cat on a scrabble-tile necklace at times), but now I’ll be able to call the whole thing up whenever I want.

You can read it at the link above. Or not. I’ll post the text here next week.

Now we’re off to a ballgame. Smokies vs. Lookouts. Hot dog vs. my waistline. Go Smokies!