Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Big Apple

This place has divine bagels and muffins and really good sandwiches! It's on the edge of Petoskey, Michigan,.We tested it yesterday and it definitely passed! There is a big apple blackboard painted on the wall, and an uncredited chalk artist made this decor for the current project: June birthdays, I guess, names and dates. But, since this is my name, if not my birth month, I whipped out my iPhone--et voila!
Right now we are in Michigan, after nearly 50 years in California, and short sojourns in Utah (Provo) Oklahoma (Lawton) and Ohio (Cleveland). I grew up in New York State and S in Idaho.
I also have many members of my family who live in Utah, and because of my Mormom ancestors, I am always interested in the history and people of that state. I love the poetry of May Swenson, who grew up in Southern Utah. In her work, one often finds a deep understanding of animals. She was also a master of typography, and arranged poems on the page in many unusual, striking and effective ways. Here is a very interesting example of that.
Tonight's poem by May Swenson is printed centered in Poems of the Sea; selected and edited by J. D. McClatchy (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series) on page 64. Since I am far away from my beloved Pacific, it has a special appeal to me tonight.


Meekly the sea
now plods to shore:
white-faced cattle used to their yard,
the waves, with weary knees,
come back from bouldered hills
of high water,

where all the gray, rough day they seethed like bulls,
till the wind laid down its goads
at shift of tide, and sundown
gentled them; with lowered necks
they amble up the beach
as to their stalls.

May Swenson  1919-1989\

This is another poem that yields up some of its secrets when read aloud. Listen for the rising and falling/coming and going, as of the surf. Notice the rhythms. I've not lived with cows and (on the evidence of this poem alone) think that this poet has. Good night.
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