Monday, June 28, 2010


The Poetry Bus this week, driven by Don't Feed the Pixies, challenges us to follow the signs (real or imagined) to wherever they take us. As I am reading Mary Oliver's, A Poetry Handbook, in which she talks about the importance of keeping appointments with your writing self, I've begun to think about following the signs to that place where I can do what I've set myself to do.

I will find it
Somewhere fair,
In rarified, clarified air,
The land and the house
And the room
Of my own.

It will be
A silky stop
Above the rocky crop;
A quiet refuge
That clamors
To be found.

It waits;
It watches the path
I tread,
The fallow past,
Its patience an ancient,
Beating, breathing thing.

I've appointments
There to keep,
Annointments hallowed, deep
In this meeting
And this resting place
For me.

Just a note: This wholly unsatisfactory piece is part of keeping appointments with myself. Good, bad, or indifferent, I will write.  While you're here, take a look at the two posts below this one. Practicing. Practicing.


  1. Nice one, Karen. I especially like the sound of rarified, clarified air.

  2. oooh,

    I love it.

    appointments is too circumbscribed a word.

    but the air and the breath and the rarified rocky crop I have.

    been there and will soon make a visit again.

  3. Hi - thank you for the entry - the link will be up in the next few mins from my post.

    I really like this - the idea of the appointment with yourself is an interesting one and i particularly liked the third verse - it waits - onwards.

    Excellent stuff

  4. Great, motivational and true, the last stanza caught me the most for some reason, the line "Annointments hallowed, deep" is lovely

  5. i like how the picture matches the softness and quietness of the place you describe. and yes, i have read (and commented, too ;) the previous two posts as well.
    and yes, there has to be a place, and a poet must stick to it. even if this place is an imaginary one.

  6. "the room of a poet" mystifying...

  7. The illustration you have chosen for this post is the same as a poster I have on my bedroom wall. I think the woman in it is also looking for her special place - or rather dreaming of it. I hope you find yours.:)

  8. "Practicing. Practicing." - that's what we're all really doing, isn't it?

    though i'd think you'd be a little satisfied - i love "A silky stop / Above the rocky crop" - and the heartbeat of it.

    i admire people who can appointment-write. and/or keep appoinments in general. not my strong suit, but i know many literary greats swore by it.

    still - here's to staying (at least a little) unsatisfied - and to the pursuit. :)

  9. Lovely idea and the last stanza really grabbed me.I likes it!

  10. I love this! Not an unsatisfactory piece at all IMHO...

  11. I wouldn't call it unsatisfactory--I like what you're doing with the form, including ways that you alter it--& I like the way rhymes move to different parts of the lines.

  12. Willow - Thanks!

    Dianne - I envy you if you already have found such a place. I'm still searching.

    DFTP - Thanks for the interesting challenge this week!

    Niamh - Mary Oliver says that the conversations we have about the poetry are an important part of the practice,too. That's what the blogs do for us, so maybe this is a room in that house. Thanks for your conversations.

  13. SzelsoFa - The picture is called Poetry. Isn't she lovely? Thank you for being a loyal reader and commentator.

    Kay - I don't mean to be mystifying. Just looking for "a room of one's own" in which to become...

    Jinksy - I love this dreamy image of poetry.

  14. joaquin - I generally write when the mood or inspiration strikes, but I am certain that I can hone my writing (art? craft?) by consistently practicing. I think that practice should include reading and writing and staying unsettled enough to strive. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support along my way.

    TFE - Thank you!

    Bug - Thanks! I love your HO!

    John - Thank you for your comment on form. So very important.

  15. Oh, I liked the whole concept of this, and the near-personification of the room. I'm with DFTP - it's the third verse that stopped me in my tracks.

  16. I loved the ancient breathing thing especially. Your poem is serene and strong, just like the poet's room that you imagine. Someday you'll know in your heart that you're a very fine poet and you won't feel this judgment of your pieces. They are always true to your own voice, and your voice is good.

  17. i forgot to mention how the last stanza reminds me of robert frost - that we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep.

    i don't know how he did it, but i know that what makes the journey for me is reading and being read by people like you. you may not feel like much of a poet some days, but that's because you are one - you don't just write poems, you build and sculpt and breathe into them. that, i think, is what makes a poet. the poems are just what happens next.

  18. Karen, this is so beautiful! I love the stanza that begins "It waits..." and the final stanza: "Appointments...Annointments..." beautiful! Now, I must keep my appointment with my dissertation... Thanks for this lovely reminder.

  19. I love the idea of pursuing the time and place to write, as if it is a living entity. And then in the third stanza, it's just sitting there patiently waiting for you, the writer. Awesome!!!!

    The first line is a great intro, Karen. The determined voice fits so well. Actually, that entire first stanza is a great intro. And what beautiful sounds.

    Karen, one of the many reasons I think you're so fantastic is first, because you have it in you. Your poetry is wonderful. For the reader, this wasn't unsatisfactory at all!

    But I also think you're awesome, because you have the drive and the determination to keep reading and working and shaping the words. Too many people plop it out and think they're through. Not you! That's the sign of a true poet. I enjoy reading everything you put up here for us to see, and I also get excited thinking about where it will take you.

  20. Why oh why is this unsatisfactory...
    This is an excellent piece...
    I especially liked the second stanza "Silky Stop...Quiet Refuge"...too good...great metaphors :)

    Just a subtle note on your poems: Simply woven into beautiful phrases...No uncanny sophistication...


  21. Well, if that was unsatisfactory.... I liked it, the very cosidered, controlled feel to it.

  22. very nice. I felt I was in a new place despite the computer screen in front of me.