Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A toad's favo(u)rite poem ~ Song for Baby-O, Unborn


Diane di Prima




Greetings my muddy buddies!!

Izy here to dole out another generous helping of a Toad's Favo(u)rite Poem.  In our first installment, I had shared Allen Ginsberg's "America."  And, toads, anger not when I confess that I am bringing another beat poem to our landing page today.  

Diane di Prima is one of my favorite poets, and one whose work often goes unnoticed in the cold shadows of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and the lot of testosterone driven, politico poems that so often define our thoughts on what is beat and what is not.  

So today, we leave Allen and Jack and even good ole Uncle Bill behind and shine a spotlight on Diane di Prima.  An author of over 40 books, di Prima once explained her stance toward writing poems. mothering, being a buddhist, and living as, ‘Well, nobody’s done it quite this way before but fuck it, that’s what I’m doing, I’m going to risk it.’

And indeed, she does.  So, without further grandstanding or fan girl, hero worshipping, I bring you the uninterrupted work of my favorite poem: 



Song for Baby-O, Unborn by Diane di Prima


Sweetheart
when you break thru
you’ll find
a poet here
not quite what one would choose.

I won’t promise
you’ll never go hungry
or that you won’t be sad
on this gutted
breaking
globe

but I can show you
baby
enough to love
to break your heart
forever

19 comments:

Karen said...

My mouth literally dropped open when I finished reading this. Yes! Here's one I wish I had written!

Thanks for the introduction, Izzy!

Lolamouse said...

I love this! I'd heard of Diane DiPrima in relation to the beat poets, but she really should be acknowledged in her own right. Thank you for doing so!

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

I so much appreciate her poem and grateful for your expose of Diane di Prima

Mama Zen said...

I like!

Marian said...

oh my lord if that is not just completely perfect. thank you, Izy.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have long known you to be a di Prima fan, and I wish I knew her work better, having read only a few pieces. Your choice of poem today, so resonates with me as I think of both my daughters, now grown and to be both away at university... I do hope that they can find the poems life offers, as well as endure the disappointments they will face.

Ella said...

She reached beyond-it has an anthem to life feel! Thank you Izy for sharing her-she is new to me! I can't wait to read more of her work~

Robert Bourne said...

wheww ... that was dynamite... loved it

hedgewitch said...

Clear and ringing, simple and real--the best of Beat, and in my mind, a lot better than some of the over-the-top angst of the male writers you mentioned, much as I love them. Thanks, Izy.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OH YES! That is it EXACTLY. Wowzers!

Helen said...

Color me breathless ...

(thank you for introducing me to Ms. di Prima!)

Kay L. Davies said...

That first stanza blew me a way. "You'll find a poet here" is a lackadaisical beat-type understatement to make the testosterone group gasp as I did.
Frabjuss, Izy, abso-bloody-lutely frabjuss.
K

Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks for the introduction to Diane di Prima...I love the poem! I must read more of her work!!

manicddaily said...

Agh. Wonderful poem. Thank you, Izy! Agree with what everyone has said. I have not paid her sufficient attention. Thanks. K .

Hannah said...

Wonderful!! Thank you for this feature and poem Izy...a poet I've never known. I love her statement about what she does. Courageous :)

Grace said...

Thanks for the introduction Izzy ~ What a woman ~

Fireblossom said...

Oh and you just broke mine. Wonderful choice, Izy. For all my beat fandom in my misspent youth, I never knew about her. Now I want to read more.

grapeling said...

cool, Izy ~

Steph said...

A favorite poem of mine too, I used it in my master's thesis concert in dance years ago. Diane is my teacher. She is reading her new work at a benefit,this Sat, March 1 at Bird and Beckett Bookstore in SF. She has Parkinson's and hasn't been able to teach the past few years. If you live nearby, call and make a reservation. She's amazing. Yes, a Beat and more.Her autobio, My Life as a Woman, is a must read, truly. Her anthology is titled Pieces of a Song. If you liked this poem, check out more of her work, a book length poem the Loba is marvelous.