Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two for Tuesday featuring Poetry Surprise

The name of this blog post sounds like some random late night music video with two artists collaborating. Two for Tuesday can be the rappers. Poetry Surprise can be the soulful female vocalist.

The idea of Two for Tuesday is to post two things, things of any kind, and then connect them somehow.

So, without further ado, I give you Thing One:

Things With Extremely Optimistic Names.

Ok. Thing One is actually a bunch of things. Technically.

I have a weird affection for things with optimistic names. To start with, Auckland has a suburb called Meadowbank. Meadowbank in name? Happy shiny frolicking in sparkling meadows, like a stray Meyer vampire! Meadowbank in reality? A middle class suburb tucked in tidily next to a very posh one (Remuera), with nondescript but pleasant enough houses, and a nice bakery. Meadowbank in reality is absolutely fine, but oh, Meadowbank in name! The frolicking! The frolicking! There's also a suburb called Beachhaven, which has some beach, if you live on the right side of it. The rest, I guess, is the haven. But it looks like a normal bunch of houses built, I don't know, about thirty years ago. I've been there many times and I haven't noticed the haven. Criminal! And then there's Sunnynook. Can you believe there's a suburb called Sunnynook? Do you know I sometimes want to move there for the name alone, even though all I really know about it is that it has a bus station?

Also, old fashioned recipes often have extremely optimistic names. You know, the sort of thing you read about people eating for dessert in a picture book you used to have when you were a kid. Lucky berry Supreme! Peach Surprise! Don't you love how someone thought that the peach would still be a surprise? Shouldn't it be renamed 'Spongy Thing with Peach in the Middle'? No. It shouldn't. Because of the optimism.

Therefore, I am inventing a new blog feature with an extremely optimistic name. And this new blog feature will also be Thing Two:

Poetry Surprise!

I blogged on Sunday at YA Highway with a whole heap of random writing advice. One thing I advised was reading poetry. Poetry is an excellent thing. I would like this blog to contain more of it. So, whenever I feel like it, I'm going to spring Poetry Surprise on you. Poetry Surprise will occasionally be a poem I've written, but it's much more likely to be a poem that a vastly better poet has written that I want to share with everyone, so we can all bask in its loveliness. My poems are ok, but they don't have all that much loveliness to bask in, because I'm not much of a poet.

The first poem I'm sharing with you is this one:

Sonnet XXII

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd,--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

- Elizabeth Barret Browning 


Kristin Miller said...

I love that sonnet so much. And I love the idea of Poetry Surprise! It absolutely sounds edible (can I get mine a la mode, please?).

I wonder if the people who sit down and come up with those names for subdivisions do it emotionlessly (eh, it's just business) or if they truly vision a Gigglingbrook or Desertbeauty growing into the ideal suburban landscape of happy, upscale families, manicured yards, late model car and summertime cookouts where the neighbors each bring a delightful dish to share. Huh.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Whenever the muse is stalled, I take down a volume of collected poetry and read at random. Seeing the lyrical beauty and precision of others usually fires my own inspiration into being again.

I'm glad I found your blog, Roland

Kristin Briana Otts said...

That is such a beautiful poem. It's the first time I've heard it, but I love Elizabeth Browning. She and Anne Bradstreet are fantastic, especially for their time period.

Aleeza said...

'Stray Meyer vampire.' Idk, but I'm kind of in <3 with that rhyme. :D