Sundays are fantastic days to lounge around and read poetry. Poems often come in beautiful portable booklets - their so small and short, but the thoughts they provoke provide hours of deep contemplation. During my journeys in England I started to collect petite booklets of poetry. In Wales I bought the poems of a random welsh poet and read them sitting on a bench in the countryside. In the Lake District I bought a small booklet of Wordsworth's poems at Dove Cottage. And a Portabello Road I bought a late 1800's edition of Shakespeare's sonnets and soliloquies. I read poetry on days like today, because I'm feeling thoughtful and crave something aesthetically and phonetically beautiful. Other days I'm nostalgic and I crave a certain poet's voice or poem that brings comfort. I still remember when a friend unexpectedly died, and in my shock I went upstairs and selected the work of Emily Dickinson as a companion to sort out my mixed feelings. I would like to share this poem I read today and found inspiring.
"I Am Vertical"
But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring.
Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them--
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
he the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.
- Sylvia Plath