> jumping into life.

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As is, I suppose, appropriate for National Poetry Month, I've been haunted by poems especially much these past few weeks. Reading and writing both. I've been particularly drawn to the LifeLines feature at the Academy of American Poets - people write in those lines of poetry that come to them unbidden, which stay with them throughout, those poems that speak deeper than we understand.

Mine would be Prufrock, who taught me what poetry could be, and these two lines that ring each time I am heartbroken. In the absence of the sea itself to be soothed beside, these lines alone can suffice:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws

Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Tell me yours.

This is the one I come back to most often.

That is so freaky: I was just thinking about that "pair of claws" line this morning while waiting for the elevator for some odd reason.

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

writing this morning I was reminded of the other one that flits perennially in me:

And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;

Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of it-
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full

And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,

You become a self that fills the four corners of

(A Rabbit As King Of The Ghosts, wallace Stevens)

I most often conjure up lines of poetry in moments of wonder or delight:

Glory be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brindled cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange,
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim.
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
Praise him.

(Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins)

I most often think of the last lines of "90 North" by Randall Jarrell:

I see at last that all the knowledge

I wrung from the darkness--that the darkness flung me
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness
And we can it wisdom. It is pain.

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