Sunday, February 07, 2010

New Yorker magazines


- -
i was going to lug them all to work

let the students take them
or professors
from the help yourself book table
because they appear in our mailbox at home
every week
and get stacked
in the hopeful piles
waiting to be read
and this morning i remembered being in high school
i used to go to the library at lunch
take the new yorker off the shelf
just leaf thru
look at the ads and the photos
read the poems
and that was all
and so this morning
i thought
what if the main value to me is that -
get back to what i did as a child
just the images
and so i opened the new issue
and they just touched me
those photographs
poems illustrations
paintings drawings
even ads
just like then
it was a revelation
i have to get back to who i am -
you know?
have to keep reminding myself
whenever it was a couple of years ago when i was worried about
how i wasn't writing poems
i was obsessed with taking pictures
and in my mind they were separate
and suddenly
it dawned on me
they need not be separate things
they could connect
and that's when i started beginning with just
some visual
and letting it go inside
and then i could write from it
we all have to find what it is that excites
it might not be the same as anyone else
and some people it will be ten things
all seemingly unrelated
but in that one person
they are mixed and fused
in such imaginative beauty!
and we just stare
and wonder
how we didn't think of it
oh it just makes me weep
for beauty

sometimes a window opens
and it will be like we just


All photos shot near Holland, Michigan, May 2008


Deborah said...

Oh! Maybe I get to be the first to say how wonderfully well these beautiful images go with your graceful text!
I admire your artistry, Ruth. I comfort myself by telling myself that even if I don't have it, I can see it any time I want, just by coming to blogs like yours.

The boardwalk...where does it goes??

ellen abbott said...

that's how I do it, with magazines. Just look at the pictures. It's enough for me.

C.M. Jackson said...


the last stanza and word finished your post so beautifully. You dance each time you post my dear and it is gives all of us so much!

You are right--no need to separate the word and the photo. "Only connect"

my best-c

Leena said...

It`s almost midnight here and I am early in the morning going again to Melli and Mikael, but it was absorbing to follow your stream of consciousness and come inside your insight or at least near it with my ability.

Nice February week to you!

CottageGirl said...

Oh yeah!
Great mix of media ... typewriter font and great pics taking us back on the journey to youthful aspirations and interests.
I got so caught up with identifying with you ... then and now ...

Awesome job, Ruth!

Marcie said...

It's my first time here..and I have to say I love your creativity..your words...your images. So very inspiring. Will definitely be back often to visit!!!

Loring Wirbel said...

Stunning, every word, every image.

Sidney said...

I think it is a gift when you can match the beauty of images with the beauty of the written word.
No doubt you are one of those gifted persons.

freefalling said...

Our heads get very full of 'stuff', don't they?
There's a lot to be said for navel-gazing.
I try to practise it as often as possible.
I'm very good at it.

ds said...

"but in that one person
they are mixed and fused
in such imaginative beauty!"

That one person is you, Ruth. Thank you.

Anna said...

Oh Ruth I love the style and photographs. You got it all together. Well done. Anna :)

Ginnie said...

First of all, I'm so glad to see Marcie stopped by!!! :)

My favorite of all the images, Ruth, is the one at the top left. It transports me. I love the POV. And yes, I'm getting back to my Soul Girl avatar...while you get back to what it was when you first picked up the New Yorkers!

Peter said...

Wonderful the way you finished here : “Sometimes a window opens...” I think the way your write and illustrate, you open a lot of windows to us all!

(The New Yorker part made me go to the net and look for New Yorker cartoons ... and then it’s difficult to interrupt.)

Gwei Mui said...

Memories! Ruth such a beautifully evocative piece. Takes me back to my childhood. The smell of printed words on glossy paper. Voluptuous images of high fashion and far away places. Gorgeous
GM :)

Bella Rum said...

Beautiful images, Ruth. Beautiful thoughts. It's true, we all need to get back to what who we are. It's easy to lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle that is life.

Pauline said...

"such imaginative beauty"

this made me stare and wonder - you've given us poetry in both the written and photographic form!

Shari Sunday said...

Lovely post. Sometimes images - like music - are better than words. Best of all when they all come together.

Shattered said...

You certainly have found a way to make your words dance with your photographs! I always look forward to your new posts because they are always unique, fresh, and typically very beautiful.

photowannabe said...

Beauty that makes us weep and your last sentence...sometimes a window opens and it will be like we just
That's the way photography makes me feel. Lots of times I take pictures that no one else likes or understands...but they are an extension of me and are a part of my inner person.
I appreciate your posts Ruth.

Susan said...

You are a gift, Ruth. So glad to have found you!

shoreacres said...

A friend asked me to send you some words:

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

I think that's Mr. Eliot's way of saying, "We just danced..."

rauf said...

Ruth, i think New Yorker was a straight lift of Punch. Later they added things and made it different and Punch remained a humour magazine.
Please correct me if i am wrong Ruth.

i normally buy back issues of magazines from the pavements. National Geographic vogue cosmopolitan Elle and our local bollywood glossies. I don't see Photoplay, True story, Movie Mirror Modern Screen any more Ruth. i used to collect them all from Moore Market pavements. Photoplay was my all time favourite and i don't know how my collection disappeared. i think i went after Beatles magazines of the 60's like Fab 208 / Radio Luxemberg.

RD said...

Total stream of consciousness and I love it. Such beautiful images. I was near Holland MI in May 2009--lived near there for a couple of years and moved away that summer. I also have some wonderful pictures from the area. I had not thought of my amateur photography habit as poetry, but now this is all I can think of after having read this. I do so appreciate and enjoy your writing!

Ruth said...

Deborah, you really should not say such things (didn't Prince Humperdinck say that in The Princess Bride: "I would not say such things if I were you"), because you are such a very insightful writer and one of the people I was thinking of when I wrote this! Your mind is a wonderful thing.

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Ellen, I've noticed that some magazines ain't what they used to be. Like Country Living, which I got as a gift recently. It seems to be mostly ads now. I used to relish every page, every photo. Maybe it's me who's changed and I'm not into decorating as I used to be. But I still love a country scene.

Ruth said...

C.M., thank you. And I love that Forster quote.

Ruth said...

Leena dear, stay warm a little longer, your spring will come. Give a big Auntie Ruth squeeze to Melli and Mikael.


Ruth said...

CottageGirl, it is a strange thing that we each have something unique inside, and then we can take someone along with us. But when you go along, it is something different inside you!

It's a wonder.

Ruth said...

Hi and welcome, Marcie! It's an honor to have you visit. Your photos are wonderful, and Vision & Verb is a terrific collaboration. I'm proud of Ginnie being a part of it. Please do come back.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Loring. A lot.

Susan said...

Ruthie, if you were a magazine delivered to my door, first I would make a pot of tea, light a fire and curl up in my most comfy chair with a soft wool afghan wrapped around my legs.

Then I would stare at the cover for a few moments, anticipating the images and words within. Oh so carefully would I turn each page and express delight for each and every photo and word with a soft sigh, taking a sip of tea between each page to make the turning last longer.

And when I came to the last page, I would let it lay in my lap while I close my eyes, warm and snuggled, absorbing all that I had just experienced. And regretting that I would have to wait another whole month until the next one arrives in my mailbox.

Arti said...

I see 8 poems here. Your photos are visual poetry. Words and visuals do go together and your post vividly shows how beautiful that can be.

As for The New Yorker, let's just stand together and never let it go down. I'm afraid with all these eReading Devices, and with all the online access to magazines, sooner or later printed magazines will disappear from our world. They're now scrambling to get subscriptions. I really fear their demise coming. Even their cover is being created using an iPhone app. What's next?

dutchbaby said...

It is clear you have achieved what you set out to do. You have fused your poetry with your images. Your heart shines through every one of these photos. I love the "fiber optic" grass and the green juvenile leaf next to the beige fungi.

Word verification: everbste

Ruth said...

Oh Deborah, I forgot to answer your question. The boardwalk leads to Lake Michigan - which has disappeared in fog.

lovely you said...

Ruth, I swear, sometimes I think our hearts are synchronized.

Ruth said...

Sidney, your photographs speak in ways that don't need words at all. Faces faces and more faces, in ways that no one else does.

Ruth said...

Letty, often I wish you and I could sit and talk about navel-gazing. Or not talk about it. Or go shopping at a second-hand store.

I wanna.

Ruth said...

DS. No no no. Thank you, but no. It is not me. I have very little that gets fused. I look around and some people just have so much to offer. I'm pretty simple.

But thank you.

Ruth said...

Anna, when I learned poetry writing from Diane Wakoski, she encouraged me to put unlike things together. I get very stuck in my head, thinking of how things are the same, making easy connections. Sometimes a thing comes alive when you join it with something unlike it!

Ruth said...

Boots, yes I was tickled to see Marcie too! Vision & Verb is making the rounds. Yay!

I think it's good to grow young. Maybe we missed out on some good things of childhood. We might as well find them now - better now than never.

gemma said...

Ahhh Ruth where you belong.
Merging words and images in a dance.

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, let's see hmmm, this is just so touching. "Sometimes a window opens and it will be like we just danced." Yes. and the photos so beautiful,I even like the font and the randomness of the format. Really quite magical and definitly set off by the photos.

I can't remember who I was as a teen,you are right about the window. I will have to think more about this.
I am not black and white, rather, a jumble of confusing colors.

you know I was talking to my son about a class he is taking,and I think I have concluded that I am a socialist. His professor seems to be one as well.YOu know all this rage about Obama the socialist,blah,blah,blah, I'm o.k. with that. My son said you are backwards mom you are suppose to become more conservative as you age. On and on I go . xox to you. I do so appreciate your posts and our chats.

Anna said...

Thanks Ruth for the tip, I will keep this in mind. Have a good week. Anna :)

Ruth said...

Peter, The New Yorker now has weekly cartoon caption competitions. They post a cartoon and readers submit. We've submitted a few, but ours didn't get chosen.

Thank you, my friend.

Ruth said...

Oh Gwei, I just wrote the same word - evocative - on your post about grandma lighting candles. So lovely it is. We have given each other nostalgia today.

Ruth said...

Pauline, thank you for your kind visit. I am glad to meet you and see your fine writing at your blog.

Ruth said...

Shari, sometimes I'm speechless, and it's better to remain wordless. So true.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jennifer. xoxo

Ruth said...

Sue, your current "D" photos for digital, are just splendid. Sometimes the best things happen by accident. The colors there and abstract feel really get me. I'm glad you posted them.

Thank you for your kindness.

Ruth said...

How kind, Susan, thank you. So sad about the abused dog. :(

Ruth said...

Thank you for being the messenger, Linda. Eliot's words remind of Whitman's:

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well.

Allons! be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Mon enfant! I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Walt Whitman, Selected Stanzas From Song of the Open Road

Ruth said...

rauf, I've heard about Punch, but I had to google it. I found this:

As the showpiece items in Britain's leading humor magazine, Punch's cartoons are known the world over. But its punchless articles are scarcely noticed even in Britain. It was not always so: once Punch was as well known for its caustic writing and cartoons on the social and political scene as it was for its humor. Punch shocked the world by printing Thomas Hood's "Song of the Shirt," a poem that bitterly described the sweatshops of the Industrial Revolution, and during World War I, Punch's attacks on the Kaiser were so pointed that the Germans put a price on the editor's head. Last week Punch took a long step toward bringing its writing up to par with its cartoons. For the first time in in years, the board named a newsman as its editor: the London Daily Telegraph's Deputy Editor Macolm Muggeridge, 49, to replace Kenneth Bird, 64, retiring to cartoon under his famous signature "Fougasse."

Muggeridge has worked for the Manchester Guardian, Evening Standard and Telegraph. He was an editor in India, a correspondent in Moscow and Washington, and his articles on the 1952 presidential campaign were just about the best in the British press. Newsman Muggeridge has always been as close a reader of The New Yorker and TIME and LIFE as of Punch. In Punch's own way, Muggeridge may bring to the magazine timeliness together with the suavity of The New Yorker's notes and comment. Says Muggeridge: "Punch must comment on the world today . . . I'm as pleased as punch [with the new job]—I hope.",9171,817548,00.html

Ruth said...

Oh hello, RD, what a wonderful comment. West Michigan is remarkable for its natural beauty. I haven't tromped around over there enough. Several of these photos are from a nature preserve that I can't even remember the name of! I googled and googled and still haven't figured it out. I should have saved the photos with that file name.

But yes, what is in the frame can be very poetic. It moves me that you made that connection too.

Ruth said...

My dear Susie Q, that precious comment went straight to my heart and touched me with all the warmth and affection imaginable. You are a delight, an inspiration and a gift.

Ruth said...

Arti, it's good to see you. I was missing going to Ripple Effects, and then you commented. Synchronicity.

Thank you for your words. And yes, I really love the print version of the magazine. I now go from it to the online version and save some of the images. I'm afraid I will never get an iPhone or iPad or a Kindle. But I have friends who travel a lot and say it saves them having to lug books around. Still, I just don't see myself reading that way.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, thank you so much. Love that: juvenile leaf next to the beige fungi.


Ruth said...

I'm glad of that, Lovely you, very glad.

Ruth said...

Gemma, you do the same, my friend. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Oh my sweet Cathy.

I wonder if it's important to remember who we were, or remember who we are, truly. Memories get triggered, and something comes back that feels right again. It's just little flashes for me.

I love your comment. Especially the last paragraph. Hallelujah, a little good socialism might not hurt. People are so afraid of what they don't understand.

Thank you for being there. I hope you are doing all right. Better than all right. I hope you are grieving less and doing well.


Patricia said...

Hurray for fusion! Good for you to discover that you need not fit into a mold and that you can evolve into your own creative self with many branches. May the creative energies flow forth and manifest themselves in new thoughts and ways of being.
You are a tree with many branches.

Ruth said...

Lovely, Patricia, thank you artist friend.

Jeanie said...

Fabulous! There is much to be said for saving things, isn't there? We often end up taking all the old New Yorkers to the cottage. Yes, some articles are timely; some, however, never go out of date. And I don't know about you, but have you ever read everything in the New Yorker before the next one came? Not me. That's what makes it a wonderful magazine, but almost downright impossible to manage in a week!

Well, I'm glad it provided you with inspiration. These certainly are stunning images and I'm thrilled you married them to your post!

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I never pay more than $40 for a year's subscription, and so 50+ issues at that price is pretty good, even if I only read some of the articles, some of the poems, and get inspired by some of the pictures. Then they go onto the table outside my office for students waiting during walk-ins! Just like a doctor's office.

deb said...

I won't pretend to be any sort of expert on literature, art , music , etc. at all. I'm continually humbled by bloggers such as yourself. I want to be like so many of you when I grow up :)

but this prose poetry, is life to me

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Deb.