Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver
January 2019 is the month when the world lost the voice that will always be Mary Oliver. The death of a poet, one of our time, always strikes a chill of fear into my heart..
I ask the question: Who remains? In compiling this writing prompt, I initially had in mind a way in which we could all pay tribute to a poet who inspired with her gentle wisdom and perception of the human condition, but we have been given the opportunity to do so already in other posts.
Then I got to thinking: Why do we only really Pay Attention to a poet's body of work once they have passed away? So I returned to my question: Who remains? Who is the poet - still living - who speaks to you in a profound way? Therefore, for this challenge, I wish you to share a quote from a contemporary poet's work and write a poem as a tribute to his/her style, voice, themes, wisdom.
"I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam
Here are a few poets to consider, but please feel free to choose your own favourite and follow Mary Oliver's advice: Be astonished. Tell about it.
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.