. . Good Morning!
Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
Never allow someone to be your priority while
allowing yourself to be their option.
— Mark Twain
Today is Get Over It Day, which was started on March 9, 2005, by Jeff Goldblatt, because he was having trouble getting over an ex-girlfriend.
When love ends, we go through a similar process to the stages of grief, described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Sometimes we get stuck in one of the stages, so Get Over It Day is meant to be a day for finding a way to move on.
by Sara Teasdale
There is no magic any more,
We meet as other people do,
You work no miracle for me
Nor I for you.
You were the wind and I the sea—
There is no splendor any more,
I have grown listless as the pool
Beside the shore.
But though the pool is safe from storm
And from the tide has found surcease,
It grows more bitter than the sea,
For all its peace.
“After Love” from Collected Poems by Sara Teasdale, © 1996 by Buccaneer Books
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was born in St. Louis, Missouri into a devout family. She was in poor health as a child, and was home-schooled until she was nine. At age 23, Teasdale published her first poetry collection, Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems (1907). She traveled frequently to Chicago, and became part of Harriet Monroe’s circle. (Monroe was the founding publisher in 1912, and long-time editor, of Poetry magazine, and played a major role in the development of modern poetry in the U.S.) Teasdale married in 1914, and moved with her husband to New York City in 1916. In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and the Poetry Society of America Prize for Love Songs, which had appeared in 1917. Between 1911 and 1930, she published six volumes of poetry, including Flame and Arrow, Dark of the Moon, and Stars To-night. Her husband’s constant travel for business led to her filing for divorce in 1929. She lived alone as a semi-invalid, until she committed suicide in January, 1933. Her final book, Strange Victory, was published posthumously.
by Derek Walcott
This fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved
past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.
Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.
“The Fist” from Collected Poems, 1948-1984, © 1986 by Derek Walcott – Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was an outstanding Caribbean poet and playwright from the small island nation of Saint Lucia, located in the West Indies. He wrote poetry from an early age – a local paper published one of his poems when he was 14 – but he originally studied painting. In 1962, his first major collection of poems, In a Green Night: Poems 1948–1960, was published by the prestigious Jonathan Cape publishing house. Walcott resisted being labeled a “black writer” insisting that he was a Caribbean writer. From the 1970s on, Walcott taught creative writing at top U.S. universities like Harvard and Columbia, while also publishing collections of his plays and poetry. In the mid-1970s, he had an affair with Norline Metivier, a young dancer in one of his plays. He married her in 1976, but it quickly ended in divorce. From 1981 to 2007, he taught literature and creative writing at Boston University, and established the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre to promote plays by new playwrights. In 1987, Walcott met Sigrid Nama, a Danish-Flemish-American art dealer, and they mostly lived together for the rest of his life. In spite of his success, both his professional and domestic lives were stormy and complicated. He was often short of money until he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. Derek Walcott died at age 87, after a long illness, on the island of Santa Lucia, in March 2017.
by Audre Lorde
I have studied the tight curls on the back of your neck
moving away from me
beyond anger or failure
your face in the evening schools of longing
through mornings of wish and ripen
we were always saying goodbye
in the blood in the bone over coffee
before dashing for elevators going
in opposite directions
Do not remember me as a bridge nor a roof
as the maker of legends
nor as a trap
door to that world
where black and white clericals
hang on the edge of beauty in five oclock elevators
twitching their shoulders to avoid other flesh
there is someone to speak for them
moving away from me into tomorrows
morning of wish and ripen
your goodbye is a promise of lightning
in the last angels hand
unwelcome and warning
the sands have run out against us
we were rewarded by journeys
away from each other
into mornings alone
where excuse and endurance mingle
Do not remember me
nor as the keeper of secrets
I am a fellow rider in the cattle cars
you move slowly out of my bed
saying we cannot waste time
“Movement Song” from From a Land Where Other People Live, © 1973 by Audre Lorde – Broadside Press (included in The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde – © 1997 by The Audre Lorde Estate – W.W. Norton & Company)
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was an American writer, poet, feminist, lesbian, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was born in New York City, the daughter of a father from Barbados, and a mother from Grenada. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, women, and the exploration of black female identity. Her first poem was published in Seventeen magazine when she was still in high school. She became an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press in 1977, and a co-founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980. She survived breast cancer in 1978, but died at age 58 of liver cancer in 1992.
Fanaa: End of Self
by Adeeba Talukder
A glance was all it took
to turn him mad as a moth—
unbathed and barely clothed,
teeth chipped, lips hard,
hair and hair
ran through the market
ripped his collar, cried
Dust on his head, blood
on his sleeve,
as the gods of age
cast stone after stone
upon his chest.
Her curls, too,
had once fallen on him
like calamity. Now he tore
the desert with verses
of thirst and praise:
Come, quell my fever.
Even death is not so cruel.
As she rose again
she was smoke, soft
and gray, searching.
by now, were burnt.
You’ve destroyed me, he accused.
So when she wrote at last,
he ingested her words,
smashed their shrines.
Fanaa is an Urdu word which means to destroy, to annihilate. In Sufism, the word is used for extinction of the self in the Universal being. It is a word often used in Hindi and Urdu poetry.
“Fanaa” from What is Not Beautiful, © 2018 by Adeeba Talukder – Glass Poetry Press
Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani American poet, translator, and singer. Her family moved to the U.S. in the late 1980s when she was a baby. Talukder credits poetry with helping her navigate her life after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20. She translates Urdu and Persian poetry, and brings elements from both to her own work in English. Her second book Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved, just out from Tupelo Press, is a winner of the Kundiman Prize. She majored in Middle Eastern studies at New York University, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. Talukder is a 2017 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow.
Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.
“Failing and Flying” from Refusing Heaven, © 2005 by Jack Gilbert – Alfred A. Knopf
Jack Gilbert (1925-2012) American poet, grew up in his birth city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He failed out of high school, and worked as a door-to-door salesman, exterminator, and steelworker, before a clerical error got him admitted to the University of Pittsburgh. His graduated in 1954, and went on to get his master’s from San Francisco State University in 1963. His first book of poetry, Views of Jeopardy, won the 1961 Yale Younger Poets Prize. He lived on a Guggenheim Fellowship while touring most of Europe, and lived in Italy before returning to the U.S. Gilbert published nine poetry collections during his life. The last book, Collected Poems, came out in 2012, just before his death at age 87 in Berkeley, California.
I don’t care that
I have been forgotten by you
But it is regrettable that
You would die
Since breaking the bow
Ukon (936-966), notable Japanese poet of the Heian period, was a lady-in-waiting of Lady Onshi, consort of Emperor Daigo. She belonged to the Fujiwara clan, and her father, Fujiwara no Suenawa, was the “right lesser captain” (Ukon no Shosho). Her name is on the list of the Thirty-six Female Poetry Immortals, which was compiled in the Kamakura period (1185-1333)