What poetry knows

Friday, October 21, 2011

My friend Nazie. 

Well, I could leave it at that.  Just:  My friend Nazie.

But I have more to say.  My friend Nazie and I have known each other nearly the whole of our adult lives.  Architecture brought us together.  A magazine.  Her love of beautiful things, her ability to find them, share them, her commitment to living a complete life.  The conversation between us sometimes slow and sometimes quick, but never ending, always reviving.

Today Nazie sends me this link to Marie Howe's interview with Terry Gross.  Maybe you will have the time to listen, and if you do not, this fragment:
Poetry holds the knowledge that we are alive and that we know we're going to die.  The most mysterious aspect of being alive might be that — and poetry knows that.
I took the photograph above while at a client site, waiting for an interview to begin.  That is my Schuylkill River.  That is the sun on her back.


Lindsey said...

Oh, wow. Breathtaking. So, so true. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Stanley Kunitz: "Years ago I came to the realization that the most poignant of all lyric tensions stems from the awareness that we are living and dying at once. To embrace such knowledge and yet to remain compassionate and whole – that is the consummation of the endeavor of art."

Nazie said...

Dearest Beth, I feel nervous to post my comment on your blog in the presence of all the literary minds. Am I using the right words? Is it obvious I am not of this land? But it doesn't matter I suppose. We are all human. And by that virtue, we should recognize beauty even if we stumble upon it while driving to the supermarket. And that's how I learned about Marie Howe, her poems, her wisdom and I was humbled.

Becca said...

I always feel there is something mysterious about poetry, that it touches the soul in a different way than even the most poetically written prose.

Perhaps this is what that is, then.

Jeannine Atkins said...

Beth -- and Nazie -- thank you so much for this link. Love Marie Howe's poetry.

Serena said...

I love that and it is wonderful! I agree. Poetry is that -- a look into the mystery!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

My river is the Tennessee, and sometimes the sun ripples her back that same way. Beautiful.

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