O Thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind,
Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
And the black elm tops, 'mong the freezing stars,
To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light
Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night when Phoebus was away,
To thee the spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he's awake who thinks himself asleep.
On Oct. 31, John Keats would've been 211 years old. He shares a birthday with BL Kennedy; Happy Birthday, Bari! Also celebrating birthdays coming up (Oct. 30) would've been Ezra Pound, born in 1885, and Paul Valery, born in 1871.
•••Monday (10/30), there will be no reading at the Sacramento Poetry Center.
•••Wednesday (11/1), 6:30 PM, The Literature, Arts, and Medicine Program of the Sutter Cancer Center (LAMP) presents author Pat Schneider & the art of Marlene Kidd. 6:30 PM: Art Walk and Reception; 7:30 p.m.: Presentation by Pat Schneider; 8:30 p.m.: Book Signing. Sutter Cancer Center, 2800 L Street, Sacramento, 1st Floor.
•••Thursday (11/2), 7:30 PM: Robinson Jeffers Night in Chico features Jim Dwyer, James Karman, George Keithley and Beth Spencer. It's at the 1078 Gallery, 820 Broadway, Chico. $2 donation.
•••Sat/Sun (11/4-5): "The Beat Generation and Beyond" at the John Natsoulas Art Gallery in Davis and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Performances by Peter Selz, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima and George Herms. Guided Crocker Art Museum tour of photos by Allen Ginsberg. Optional $50 lunch on Friday. Co-sponsored by UC Davis Technocultural Studies. More details:
•••Sunday (11/5), 6 PM. Fatherhood and maleness themes recur in the latest poetry collection by award-winning Sac State Professor and martial arts aficionado Joshua McKinney. The clear narratives in The Novice Mourner use guns, animals, and landscapes as symbols of mortality and the roles of fathers and sons. PoemSpirits has invited him to read this Sunday and to bring his published chapbooks to sell. Series co-facilitator Tom Goff will also present a brief overview of the work of Marie Ponsot, who refers to poetry as “passionate speech; language on a rampage.” Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, 2425 Sierra Blvd., 2 blocks north of Fair Oaks Blvd, between Howe and Fulton Avenues. UUSS Foyer/Lounge. Free; Snacks available. info: Tom Goff or Nora Staklis, 916-481-3312, or JoAnn Anglin, 916-451-1372. Open mic: All are invited to bring a poem of your own or another’s to read.
Come, let us pity those who are better off than we are.
Come, my friend, and remember
Come, let us pity the married and the unmarried.
Dawn enters with little feet
Nor has life in it aught better
Than this hour of clear coolness,
Your steps, born of my silence here,
Process with slow, religious tread,
Dumbly and icily, to where
I lie awake, on watch, in bed.
Pure person, shade of deity,
Your steps, held back are doubly sweet.
God!—all the gifts I could foresee
Are coming now on those bare feet!
If you advance your lips to make
A peace with hunger, and to press
The inhabitant of my thoughts to take
The thoughtful nourishment of a kiss,
Don't hurry with their tender dew,
Sweetness complete and incomplete;
For I have lived to wait for you:
My heart was your approaching feet.
(Translated from the French by Alistair Elliot)
Oh, and Medusa will be off riding her broom from tomorrow (Sunday) through next Wednesday, November 1. Happy Halloween!
Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry, photos and art, and announcements of Northern California poetry events to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)