Musings, Poems

Accessory

printsbeginning2I wrote a poem on a piece of a grocery sack today. A few months ago I bought the above two pieces of artwork, or as they are called on the back “wall accessories” at a thrift store. They are both prints from 1972 that are titled “We Are Engaged.” I altered one of them and am waiting on inspiration to do the other.

I like the idea of a wall accessory. I suppose a rug is a floor accessory. Is a porch a house accessory? A hanging plant an air accessory? An ice box magnet a refrigerator accessory.

Apparently, I just like the word “accessory.”

–Shaun Perkinsbeginning to learnbeginning4

Poems

April 6 Birthday: Raphael

raphael-200Raphael

I shall not soon forget that sight:
The glow of autumn’s westering day,
A hazy warmth, a dreamy light,
On Raphael’s picture lay.

It was a simple print I saw,
The fair face of a musing boy;
Yet, while I gazed, a sense of awe
Seemed blending with my joy.

A simple print:–the graceful flow
Of boyhood’s soft and wavy hair,
And fresh young lip and cheek, and brow
Unmarked and clear, were there.

Yet through its sweet and calm repose
I saw the inward spirit shine;
It was as if before me rose
The white veil of a shrine.

As if, as Gothland’s sage has told,
The hidden life, the man within,
Dissevered from its frame and mould,
By mortal eye were seen.

Was it the lifting of that eye,
The waving of that pictured hand?
Loose as a cloud-wreath on the sky,
I saw the walls expand.

The narrow room had vanished,–space,
Broad, luminous, remained alone,
Through which all hues and shapes of grace
And beauty looked or shone.

Around the mighty master came
The marvels which his pencil wrought,
Those miracles of power whose fame
Is wide as human thought.

There drooped thy more than mortal face,
O Mother, beautiful and mild!
Enfolding in one dear embrace
Thy Saviour and thy Child!

The rapt brow of the Desert John;
The awful glory of that day
When all the Father’s brightness shone
Through manhood’s veil of clay.

And, midst gray prophet forms, and wild
Dark visions of the days of old,
How sweetly woman’s beauty smiled
Through locks of brown and gold!

There Fornarina’s fair young face
Once more upon her lover shone,
Whose model of an angel’s grace
He borrowed from her own.

Slow passed that vision from my view,
But not the lesson which it taught;
The soft, calm shadows which it threw
Still rested on my thought

The truth, that painter, bard, and sage,
Even in Earth’s cold and changeful clime,
Plant for their deathless heritage
The fruits and flowers of time.

We shape ourselves the joy or fear
Of which the coming life is made,
And fill our Future’s atmosphere
With sunshine or with shade.

The tissue of the Life to be
We weave with colors all our own,
And in the field of Destiny
We reap as we have sown.

Still shall the soul around it call
The shadows which it gathered here,
And, painted on the eternal wall,
The Past shall reappear.

Think ye the notes of holy song
On Milton’s tuneful ear have died?
Think ye that Raphael’s angel throng
Has vanished from his side?

O no!–We live our life again
Or warmly touched, or coldly dim,
The pictures of the Past remain,–
Man’s works shall follow him!

–John Greenleaf Whittier

 

NOTE: In honor of National Poetry Month, each day a person’s birthday will be celebrated with a poem about or by him/her. The poems come from all over the place.

 

Musings

Poem Town

national-poetry-month-520x271I just submitted a grant application for a project I’ve been thinking about . . . maybe all my life. Poem Town. There’s some inspiration there from Edgar Lee Masters who created Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems from former residents of Spoon River talking from the grave. When I taught high school, we always created a town and emulated Spoon River by collaborating on a cast of characters and then writing poems to go with each one. Imagining a town and its inhabitants and the stories that intertwine and create the community is an exciting, inspiring act. Continue reading “Poem Town”

Events

Upcoming Workshop: Turn an ordinary chair into a poetic work of art

annesextonchair 009Enjoy a creative morning at the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry and design a poetry-art chair. ROMP has several on display featuring the works of Whitman, Dickinson, Sexton, Yeats, Bukowski and more. Join ROMP director Shaun Perkins, who will facilitate a museum tour, give instructions and provide all materials, for this fun and inspiring workshop. Continue reading “Upcoming Workshop: Turn an ordinary chair into a poetic work of art”

Musings, Poems

I Went Out to Play

mason-rompshop“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with objects it loves.”

Carl Jung’s words illustrate the importance of play in our lives. From it come the things that make our lives worth living: the art, the dreams, the visions, the connections, the experiences that bring us joy and heartache and shape the people we become.

I have fond memories of the play that took up so much of my childhood. We did not have structured play time, rarely went to camp or to parks or recreational areas, yet I never felt as if I were missing anything. We had the whole world to explore—through riding bikes to the creek or just around the neighborhood, listening to records, exploring the woods behind the house, making tents out of blankets thrown over the clothesline, reading books on the cool concrete of the hillside cellar roof. Continue reading “I Went Out to Play”