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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Poem: What I don't know is

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“The intellect wants to know; the soul likes to be surprised.”
~ Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul, p. 233

What I don’t know is

if a tiny black druid
croons like a grasshopper
in the wood stove
of my soul, singing
summer’s tune, rubbing
witch-hazel and rosemary,
divining love's heat
from fear's icy skin. A leap
from the lines of earth,
or the lines of Keats,
their busy, bending legs
that never tire, forever.





"The poetry of earth is never dead."
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43 comments:

George said...

I love both the Moore and the Keats quotes, and the history of humanity might be found in your own words, "divining love's heat from fear's icy skin." Our daily challenge, I would say.

Everyday Goddess said...

reading this makes me feel like i've been on a magical journey!

Oliag said...

In synch...I recently started delving into Keats poetry a bit and there close by in the bookcase is my mother's old copy of Care of the Soul. I think I have my winter reading cut out for me:)

Witch-hazel and rosemary...I can smell your poem as well as hear it...

Dave King said...

This took me into another world completely.

Gwen Buchanan said...

One of these days Everyone will know the name of Ruth Mowry, Poet!

Grandmother said...

The leap of recognition of the tiny black druid comes from both the lines of earth and Keats. Makes me understand why you come back to the divining of poetry for the deeper world view. This grounds me.

Maureen said...

This is wonderful, Ruth! Your imagery is so compelling.

hedgewitch said...

Those fiddling creatures sing a heartsong, and one that gets under the skin somehow--which only goes to show how much a part of everything we are without even realizing it. I spent my early morning hours watching a fireplace flicker, hearing my own ghostly druids today, Ruth, so your poem is almost prescient for me. And exquisite.

Brendan said...

I know who you're singing to, here ... and add my amen and amen. :"Divining loves head / from fear's icy skin" indeed (that's why she says poetry is cheaper than whskey). I didn't know the "poetry of earth" line comes from Keats; I took a course in the poetry of earth, once, and it was all about earthsongs, getting down to the peace of wild things, letting the animal body sing. And I suspect the title suggests that what you don't know is busy at work saving you from what you do. - Brendan

JeannetteLS said...

Oh, that Dave King. He said it exactly. I went to another world... a beautiful one, at that.

The Solitary Walker said...

Love that Thomas Moore quote! It's going straight into my quotations book. Your poem is lovely, and I really like the title.

rosaria said...

This is not about what you don't know. It is about connections you make,and the world you know from all these connections, and all these allusions. I'm left with that picture of the fireplace, and the poem of Keats to tie up the pieces.
We don't see this done in our modern days, the way T.s. Eliot and Dante connected us to the previous generations of literary wisdom.
What a treat for the reader!

Old 333 said...

I love that, the tiny druid. Super-awesome.

Cait O'Connor said...

divining love's heat
from fear's icy skin

What a deep and 'clever' poem.

Heather said...

Love! I love how far this poem takes me. One image transforming into another. Great ending. Perfect.

ds said...

Hey! I haven't gotten to that page yet ; ) Oh you divine and divining druid, may your grasshoppers and crickets never ever cease. Intellect and soul together--but mostly soul.
Thank you, Ruth.

Chris G. said...

Love it. Good work maintaining that very "earthy" feel throughout - from the connotations of the druid comparison, to the herbs and beyond, it just makes me feel very connected to it, and the thoughts painted therein. A good dose of questioning, quite well-realized - and granting more insights than the title might lead us to expect!

Good dose of quotes too - always enjoyed Keats's way of putting things, but I was pleasantly surprised by Moore's words. Too true, though. And thankfully, the writer makes a life of that surprise...and of the yearning for more.

erin said...

well, something most definitely is on fire:)

let that soul sing. i'll gather close in my rocking chair.

xo
erin

amy@ Souldipper said...

Oh, what a joy it would be to have a brother like Brendan. The shared poetry of familiarity.

Ruth said...

George, you probably recognize my thoughts spilling over from the last post here. With so much information coming at us, it's more important than ever to protect mystery, and to open up our imaginations to help balance all the data.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Elise, glad to have you along on the ride!

Ruth said...

Oliag, that is very nice, that you are synchronized with these authors too. And witch-hazel and rosemary, which bring winter to me, for some reason, as if winter is an astringent like them. :-)

Ruth said...

Dave, I like having you along, thank you!

Ruth said...

Gwen! You are far too kind! It is more likely that Everyone will know the name of Gwen Buchanan, Artist!

:-)

Ruth said...

Mary, what is so fun for me in the blogs is how we share what gives us meaning, and we find kindred souls who connect in similar ways with our own. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Maureen, thank you very much. Moore and Keats bumped into each other in my red chair and created a spark.

Ruth said...

Hedge, you were very much in mind when the spark leapt from the woodstove after reading Moore and Keats. Your cricket is lodged firmly in my poet's mindshelves. There is something so prescient in the solitary cricket making her song. I will jump over to your fireside haiku for a duet in a minute.

Ruth said...

Brendan, our good friend Hedgewitch was very much here in the room when Moore and Keats sparked this little poem. She is as brilliant a poet as I have come across, and so consistent daily; she really knocks me out with her craft and sight. I could go on and on. But yes, her clicking cricket is a powerful voice in my head.

Keats' seasonal poem about the cricket and grasshopper is so beautiful. I love how he attends to the seasons, paying close attention to the small within the larger scene. How gorgeous: a course in the poetry of earth and all you explored there. Wow.

I also have a strong connection with the grasshopper, which was my brother Bennett's avatar for his photography shows (if he'd had a blog, his grasshopper silhouetted on a weed would have been his profile pic).

I like how you ended your comment too, which is precisely right: Please, let's preserve some mystery, and allow our imaginations to explore the deeps.

Ruth said...

JeannetteLS, thank you so much for reading and riding!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Robert. And I'm happy you like that quote enough to save it. Maybe it will find its way into a poem from you too.

Ruth said...

Rosaria, thank you for your insightful and thoughtful comments. I had read a small poem by someone before writing this, by Kay Ryan, I believe, I don't recall the title. She alluded to Wordsworth. Oh, here it is: Thin

Ruth said...

Peter, thanks so very much!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Cait, for reading and your kind comment!

Ruth said...

Heather, thank you so much for riding along on this little journey!

Ruth said...

ds, ha. :-) I wish you and I could sit and gab about Moore's book, and all sorts of soul things. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Chris, thank you for your kind attentions here, and for your thoughtful comments. You are so write, I mean right, that the writer lives and breathes out of the surprises of the soul. Perfect.

Ruth said...

erin, I'm so happy to have you near.

Ruth said...

Amy, love your comment. Yes, it's what this blogging is all about, isn't it?

Stratoz said...

so digging that Moore quote... May you be shocked by joy and hope today

Ruth said...

Stratoz, thanks for that soulful blessing!

Friko said...

meditation by the fire, I love the outcome.

missing moments said...

soulful!

Ginnie said...

It's really true, Ruth: we always want to know but it's usually better to be surprised...especially by joy!