Friday, October 16, 2020

Poetry Friday: Looking at the Sky by Anne Porter

Anne Porter helps me redeem time. 

Time, of late, has been zooming past me at a frightening speed ("It's mid-October? What?! It's Friday again? Already? No!") We're still living in the midst of a pandemic and I'm still staying home most of the time, but there's so much to do at home when you work from home. 

But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near .... 

And yet. 

Anne Porter, who lived to be 100 years old, offers respite. 

Her life was busy, too (from The Poetry Foundation): 

Married to the painter Fairfield Porter, she raised five children in a busy, artistic household, frequently forced to pursue writing on the side. When her husband died in 1975, she began to write poetry much more seriously. As she told the Wall Street Journal: “I remember realizing that I was alone, and I'd have to be more organized. I had these poems, and I thought that it would be worthwhile working on them. I started to write.” Her first collection, An Altogether Different Language (1994), published when she was 83, was named a finalist for the National Book Award. 

Her first collection of poetry was published when she was 83. So, maybe I have a few years left, too. 

Time. It seems I never have enough time. And yet, perhaps, I do have time enough.  

Looking at the Sky 

I never will have time 
I never will have time enough 
To say 
How beautiful it is 
The way the moon 
Floats in the air 
As easily 
And lightly as a bird

(Read the rest here.) 



penelope said...

Oh how beautiful. Thank you, Karen, for sharing about her!

jama said...

Beautiful poem -- I definitely need to read more of Porter's work. And duh -- I didn't realize she was married to Fairfield Porter (whose work I also like).

I hear you on the time passing so swiftly. One would think since we're at home most of the time, the days would drag, but just the opposite seems to be happening. 2020 feels like a very strange, sad, lost year.

Janice Scully said...

I love hearing about poets who found recognition later in life. It's only then for many women that they get a chance to think and write without interruption. Thanks for sharing this!

Ruth said...


jan godown annino said...

So many appreciations, Karen. This is quite a lovely lift. Must add Anne Porter to my study list.

Linda B said...

Here as I've scrambled today to finish my "list", it's a wonderful poem to give support for the most important, Karen. Yes, time enough to do what's "off" my list. Thank you!

michelle kogan said...

That's a gorgeous poem Karen, thanks for sharing it! I know of Fairfield Porter the artist, but didn't know of Anne, so happy to meet her here, and encouraged that there's still time for some of us and our poems…

Linda Mitchell said...

Wow...just wow. I love hearing about a working mother and writer. I have four kids and I work and often writing is very much on the side. I also need to organize. This really touched me. Thank you for introducing me to a champion! I need to read more of her.

Carol Varsalona said...

Time is never enough for me these days but I still want time to walk despite the busyness of any day. Thanks for the wonderful phone. I am sorry that I traveled to your blog so late. It's all about not having enough time.

author amok said...

What beautiful pacing this poem has. The lines make me slow down. Thanks for sharing it, Karen!