for far too many . . .

Brown girl dreaming,
tattered ribbons woven
through dark tresses.
She walks in beauty
always plodding upstream,
seeking answers to secrets
from the center of the world.

Oh, to make a joyful noise
that all might hear in high fidelity.
Shout love triumphs hate.
One hundred white daffodils
strewn upon blood soaked streets
could turn a pinkish hue.
Become peace roses beneath our feet.

Oh for those inalienable rights
to be shared amongst us all.
Beyond the hour of land divided,
us and them transformed to we.
To prosper, pain free,
beyond this faithful and virtuous night
into and during every living day.

Or was that Declaration,
that torch held high
to those across the seas . . .
were those just words and symbols?
The happiness project
never intended to be shared,
never meant to be?

IMG_1599

August 9th is National Book Lovers Day and National Hand Holding Day, International Day of the Word’s Indigenous People, National Rice Pudding Day, and National Polka Day! It’s also OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Folks can post one poem of their choosing – any form, any topic. 

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I’ve posted a “book spine” poem written with book titles, all from the bookshelf on my desk. Reread the poem, and you’ll find these titles, in this order:

brown girl dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Ribbons – Spring/Summer 2017: Vol. 13, No. 2 (Tanka Society publication)
she walks in beauty (A Woman’s Journey Through Poems)  by Caroline Kennedy
Upstream by Mary Oliver
Secrets from the Center of the World by Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom
Joyful Noise (Poems for Two Voices) by Paul Fleischman
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue
Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

50 thoughts on “for far too many . . .

  1. mandibelle16 August 9, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Awesome job at this. I really loved how you incorporated the titles, but the poem had such flow and was very appealing to the sense, visually especially.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:46 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn. I love looking at people’s bookshelves when I visit them. Glad you enjoyed this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • merrildsmith August 10, 2018 / 7:53 am

        I do that, too. (And wonder about the houses with no books.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. vintage jellies August 9, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    What a great tribute to the holiday, doing a spine poem.

    My favories are “Brown girl dreaming” and:

    “One hundred white daffodils
    strewn upon blood soaked streets”

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed. brown girl dreaming is a wonderful poetry book — has won a number of awards and actually falls within the Young Adult category of books.

      Like

  3. Glenn Buttkus August 9, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    A couple of years ago we did spine poetry form here on MTB. Like found poems, we all had fun with it. Yours is clever, and could/does stand alone. The message is dark, and the questions need to asked; especially under Trump’s thumb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      Yes…originally I had “love trumps hate” but decided I liked the tone of the poem too much to use his name. Thought it affected the poem in more of a satirical or parody way and I wanted to keep the tone serious. Glad you enoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Frank Hubeny August 9, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    Nice lines: “Oh, to make a joyful noise
    that all might hear in high fidelity.
    Shout love triumphs hate.” When such is possible it is truly joyful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      ….and would that we should all make it happen more often! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kanzensakura August 9, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    Wonderful write Lillian. I especially like the daffodils strewn on a blood soaked street. Although there is a dark message, there is still some hope here. And today is also my mother-in-law’s birthday. Happy National Book day. And oddly enough, I made rice pudding for dinner tonight. the old fashioned creamy kind. wish you were here to share!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Happy birthday to your mother-in-law! And rice pudding too….now you’ll just have to play the you tube video above and do the polka around the room a bit! 🙂 Glad you liked this one.

      Like

      • kanzensakura August 9, 2018 / 4:03 pm

        I actually can polka! Years ago at the Disco, they had one night that was polka night. I learned to polka then. I love it.

        Like

  6. kim881 August 9, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    A brilliant weaving of titles, Lill, and I love the lines:
    ‘One hundred white daffodils
    strewn upon blood soaked streets
    could turn a pinkish hue.
    Become peace roses beneath our feet.’

    Liked by 2 people

  7. sanaarizvi August 9, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    My goodness this is absolutely breathtaking work, Lillian ❤ Love the way you have weaved in all those titles 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:51 pm

      Oh my….thank you so much for this wonderful comment! Truly appreciated!

      Like

  8. whippetwisdom August 9, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Wonderfully done Lillian and that beautiful pile of books makes me wish for more reading time! Happy Book Lovers Day to you too! :o) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 3:51 pm

      I think it quite true that if you like to read, you will never to truly alone or bored! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 9, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you, Jo. So glad you enjoyed! 🙂

      Like

  9. mhmp77 August 9, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    kaykuala

    were those just words and symbols?
    The happiness project
    never intended to be shared,
    never meant to be?

    The intention is honorable but the extent of sincerity is always a question. The elements of ‘payback time’ or ‘what is it in for me?’ is never far from the basic consideration. Rightly observed Lillian!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 11:05 am

      Thank you, Hank. For your thoughtful and heartfelt comment here.

      Like

  10. Pat: willow88switches August 9, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    this is a wonderful and clever poem ~

    book titles, like movies, or cds can offer a wonderful source of inspiration – and this is a great “pile” – and fascinating for the curiosity 🙂

    but what I really appreciate about this poem, is that even without knowing these are book titles, you’ve fashioned them into something more, something that actually tells a cohesive story – and is beautiful for its darkness, and yet offers the promise of hope, and light –
    the titles, as you’ve shaped them, are really superb, add a rich dimension to this piece – and force us to celebrate, yet still remember to question, to ask the tough questions …

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Mary (tqhousecat) August 9, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Oh I love this! I did this with a group of books just like this once. Is it a common thing? I have not the time to do the reading I would like. Maybe if I ever retire…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 11:07 am

      Ah….you know I am in my 7th decade….I am rejuvenated (never say retired) 🙂 And now, in my reading, I take the luxury of closing a book I’ve decided I do not like, taking it back to the library, and beginning a new one 🙂 Life is too short to spend time struggling….I do love reading!

      Like

  12. rothpoetry August 9, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Very clever use of the book titles, Lillian. Torch held high…. invitation still open???

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 11:09 am

      I’d say with every new “rule” and policy invoked this days in the US, the torch dims more and more. Very very sad. Just read a Washington Post article today that the administration is considering a new policy that will affect LEGAL immigrants — in regards to accepting social program benefits such as WICK and other aid to children. Can’t recall it exactly, but it is dire.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. merrildsmith August 10, 2018 / 7:51 am

    Well done, Lillian. Very inventive. I like how you used the titles to weave a theme, and the questioning at the end. One wonders these days–were they just words, and is it just a torch?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 11:13 am

      Yes — I fear the torch is dimming daily. We just saw Hamilton…I’d read the book about the play that included the libretto…and then listened to the CD. We were in DC and the Kennedy Center was packed. When they came to the line “Immigrants get it done” many many people in the audience said, actually almost shouted, that line right in rhythm with the actor. Hamilton was an immigrant. Many scientists, doctors, hard workers of all kinds are immigrants, children of immigrants. Somehow….I don’t know how though given the administration and congress, we must get this country back on track. Seems to me that the last election’s logo Make America Great Again, needs to be usurped for the 2018 midterm election and surely in 2020. Because, in the eyes of the world and many in this country, that “greatness” has deteriorated greatly. Sorry – I don’t usually spout politics here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • merrildsmith August 10, 2018 / 1:16 pm

        Yes, well, I agree with it all—also, I’m a historian with immigrant grandparents. I’ve listened to the Hamilton soundtrack many times, and we’re seeing the show next year when it’s in Philadelphia. 🙂 Did you know LMM is doing a production in Puerto Rico and all the proceeds are going to help there?
        We do need a new slogan, but of course, MAGA was not the election’s logo, but rather, the slogan of the current White House occupant.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Ali Grimshaw August 10, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    LIllian,

    I love the photo and your creativity in creating a poem inspired by these titles. I recently read Brown Girl Dreaming. What a fantastic book. You have inspired me today.

    Let’s never give up on creating the world we want to live in. These are my favorite lines from your poem.
    “Beyond the hour of land divided,
    us and them transformed to we.”

    Wishing you a weekend of joy,
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 10:45 pm

      Thank you so much Ali, for this lovely response. Truly appreciated.
      Yes, I loved brown girl dreaming and bought it for both my grand daughters.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Frank J. Tassone August 11, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    Wow, lillian! What an incredible poem you’ve written! I was blown away before I knew you were incorporating book titles. And now? I’m undone! 🙂 This one stanza jumped out at me:

    “She walks in beauty
    always plodding upstream,
    seeking answers to secrets
    from the center of the world.”

    Love the cadence, and how relevent the theme in these times! Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 11, 2018 / 2:47 pm

      Oh my….thank you so very much for this lovely comment, Frank. You made my day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s