Posts Tagged 'Poetry'

Ernesto Cardenal

Poet-Priest Ernesto Cardenal was born in Granada, Nicaragua January 20, 1925. Revolutionary activist, disciple of Thomas Merton, founder of the contemplative commune Our Lady of Solentiname, and Minister of Culture. Great poet of Nicaragua and the Globe, we remember…

Editor Jonathan Cohen has gathered a powerful New and Selected Poems entitled Pluriverse published by New Directions and with a foreward by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The collection includes work from 1949 to 2005, and poems range from the particular and local, “Managua 6:30 p.m.” to the cosmological. “Star Dust,” the last poem in the book, reminds us “our flesh and our bones come from other stars/ and perhaps even from other galaxies, / we are universal…”

In Memoriam Robert Long, October 15, 1954 – October 13, 2006

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LOVE POTION NO. 9

This is the most beautiful day
Of all time: 80 clear degrees,
Summer sunlight jazzing a slope of trees
Like broccoli against the so-blue sea, boats,

Tiny jewels adrift, silent on the horizon.
From my car parked in front of a church
I can watch the most beautiful boy
I have ever seen mow the lawn: he’s blond, maybe 16,

Very tan, skinny, just wearing baggy black shorts,
And all the long young muscles move
Under his warm brown skin
As he shoves the big mower around,

His kid’s angel face placid and purposeful . . .
All the way back along the fast hilly highway
Stands of evergreens and oaks soak up the sun,
The radio blares, I am happy

Thinking of the boy and the sea. Racing
The twist of roads home, the beautiful gargle
Of twin camshafts at 6,000 rpm tells me
That this is all I need: 5 p.m. melon-colored sunlight

Slanting over the silver hood. What greens
In the trees, what a rich cerulean sky, what joy
Kicking it down into third
And screaming around the curve,

Soundgarden on the radio, and the retinal image
Of the grass-mowing kid even better than Tiepolo,
Better than Brahms, reachable, ecstatic, true.
O this is the world I want without end.

— Robert Long, “Blue”
POET * FRIEND * EDITOR

 

Blue

“On an afternoon so mirror-like and bluish/It seems Windexed.” That’s a line from Robert Long’s poem “Littoral Landscape” included in the now out-of-print collection What Happens. The poet is describing a September sun, but even on dry spring days I see it that way. And even though Robert is gone now, he died in October 2006, we still feel his presence in the voice that rings clear from the pages of his collection, Blue, published by Canio’s Editions in 2000, and from the pages of DeKooning’s Bicycle, unfortunately, also out-of-print, although we have copies available at the shop. This lyrical set of essays about the artists and writers of the East End has the sensibility of some of the earlier poems, paeans to the landscape that continues to entice us, inspire us, amaze us.

There are a million ways to describe the color blue: “the milky sky’s headache…” or “An hour of blue/ At once dense and slick.” These from the eponymous poem from Blue. There’s “the driveway’s cool blue gravel” from “Imperfect Sunset;” and the “painted powder blue room”of the muse in “Where The Muse Lives;” or the “green-blue light/Of Union Square Station, 1968” from “Tie City.” The “Chagall blue of the gas stove,” in “Storm” or “the day of achingly blue skies,” in “Fumetti.” No matter how you paint it, blue’s the most beautiful, mysterious, fluid color there is.

Friends of Robert Long have created a memorial scholarship fund in his name. In April we gave out the first awards to three deserving high school seniors who showed promise in writing fiction, poetry and prose. We plan to continue to make these awards and to offer grants to working writers. In this way, we hope to continue to encourage writers, just as Robert received a grant that helped him complete the manuscript of Blue. To make a donation to the fund, please send a check to the East End Arts Council, 133 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901.


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Vanishing Landscapes