Friday, September 04, 2009

Poetry Friday: Robert Cording and Mozart

Does it get more sublime than poetry and Mozart? Add a starling, and Robert Cording's keen observations.

I was introduced to Robert Cording by Janice Harayda of One Minute Book Reviews. Atticus and I found Janice's blog when we were on a hunt for more information about Anne Porter.  Happily for me, Janice asked if I was familiar with Robert Cording. Woefully, I was not.

Now I am asking you the same question -- are you familiar with Robert Cording?

If you're not, you're in for a treat (a faulty word choice which makes it sound as if I'm offering you a cupcake, when in reality I'm inviting you to a banquet.)

Here's a piece at The Cortland Review  to whet your appetite for Cording's work. And here's a link at One Minute Book Reviews for more on Cording and his work.

I recently bought Cording's collection Common Life and I assure you it will not disappoint. I wish that I could direct you online to any number of poems in this book. One, for example, entitled On a Line of Emily Dickinson's, which is prefaced with this quote from my much-loved Emily:

"Life's spell is so exquisite everything conspires to break it."

What follows that line is poetry that is rich and deep yet simple in the way it's anchored in our lives -- the lives we must live while we're anchored to this world.

I wish I could share so many of these poems in their entirety -- Hummingbird Annunciation, or Pentecost in Little Falls, New Jersey.  But those are not online, and so today, I'll share just the beginnings and the ending of one of Cording's poems. Consider it a first course --  you'll have to hunt down the rest of the banquet for yourself.

Mozart's Starling
by Robert Cording

None of his friends understood.
A poem for a bird?—
and a funeral, and the ridiculous
request that they dress in formal attire ...

... could hear the cockeyed,
nonstop music in the incidental
bits and pieces of the world going by,
the exuberant excess of it all.

(Read the entire poem here.)

The Poetry Friday round-up can be found this week at Kelly Herold's Crossover.


janiceharayda said...

Thanks, Karen. I'd just like to add that CavanKerry Press has done justice to Robert Cording's poems by publishing them in a very handsomely designed edition.

In reviews I try to avoid dealing with packaging and focus on the poems. But with Christmas coming up, that aspect might be relevant, because it might make his work even more appealing as a gift ...

Warren said...

--"The exuberant excess of it all".

What a lovely thing it is when a poem gives you something to turn over and over in your mind, examining it like a seashell you found on the beach.


Melanie Bettinelli said...

You've done it again, Karen. Another book to add to my list. Another heart-achingly beautiful poem.

Karen Edmisten said...

Janice, I agree with you -- the book is beautifully done.

Warren and Melanie -- you'll love these poems.