Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Poetry Friday Round-up is Here This Week!

Welcome to Poetry Friday! 

(I'm posting early because I know how you guys are. I'm the same way, so welcome, kindred spirits.) 

I was waffling about what to post today. Atticus gave me a couple of ideas and they were lovely and heady but I was in the mood for something about marriage. ("Sorry, honey, I don't want your ideas. I want something about marriage," I said to my spouse. Hmmm. Perhaps there's something wrong with that but there you have it.)

Then something whispered in my ear: Barbara Crooker.  Crooker's poems are so real and rich. Deep currents run through her deceptively simple work -- currents we all swim and sometimes struggle through: love, nature, grief, food, dreams, marriage. Life.

So, I went wading through Crooker's website and came upon this one, which is lovely and new to me:

by Barbara Crooker

The sky hangs up its starry pictures: a swan,
a crab, a horse. And even though you’re
three hundred miles away, I know you see
them, too. Right now, my side
of the bed is empty, a clear blue lake
of flannel. The distance yawns and stretches.

(Read the whole poem here, at The Poetry Foundation.)


After I chose that one, I remembered a poem I wrote about eight years ago, also titled "Sustenance." I decided to share that one today, too.

by Karen Edmisten 

like marriage,
requires the promise
of leavening.

There is flour and water —
foundation — yes,
but it begs
something more:
fermentation, lather,
and growth.
It must take on life,
risk failure,
swell in size,
though never
sloppily escape
its necessary confines.

My husband
mixes flour
and water,
baking bread for me.
It is nothing,
he says.

It is everything,
I counter,
as I watch him
measure, stir yeast
and add salt,
carefully constructing a promise.


For your weekly poetic sustenance, leave your link below, and then go devour some goodness.

Thanks for stopping by!



Kay said...

Thank you for hosting today, Karen. Both of these poems offer sustenance--and were just what I needed to read this week.

Kay said...

Oops! I messed up on my first link. I couldn't find a way to delete it, but, hey it directs people right back to you!

author amok said...

Thanks for hosting, Karen. Barbara Crooker's work is gorgeous -- all of the vivid visual images she uses to welcome the reader into the poem! I'm on a sourdough baking binge, so your poem spoke to me this week too!

I'm wrapping up a school residency with some very creative third graders. Today's post: fractured fairy tale poems. They are so much fun!

Diane Mayr said...

I'm loving the pairing of your poem and Barbara Crooker's. Two different paths to love.

Tabatha said...

Barbara Crooker is so reliably wonderful, so wonderfully reliable, just like a good marriage, a good loaf of bread, and a good Poetry Friday host. Thanks, Karen!

Ruth said...

Thanks for hosting, and for the nourishing poems.

jama said...

What a perfect pairing, Karen -- both so beautiful, so true, so nourishing.

Thanks so much for hosting this week!

Linda B said...

"It is everything". You've shown it beautifully, Karen. And yes, Barbara Crooker is always nourishing. i love this: "we swim in an ocean /of great love." Thanks for the poems and for the smiles and for hosting!

KatApel - said...

Too beautiful, Karen. All of it - but that ending is just so sustaining; earthy and real - yet warm and tantalising! Thank-you for bringing us into your cosy kitchen - and for hosting.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for these two deeply moving poems Karen, such beautiful layers of life in each, and providing "Sustenance." Thanks for hosting too!

Linda Mitchell said...

"It is everything" such a perfect line in this poem. Beautiful words with layered meaning. Thank you for sharing this and for hosting Poetry Friday this week!
I am taking a peek at Kate Messner's new book, Breakout, which surprised me with poetry over at :

laurasalas said...

Karen, thank you for sharing both of these "Sustenance" poems today. That golden river and the constructed promise of a marriage, of baking bread for someone you love--these both touched me this morning. And thanks for hosting!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Two such good poems, and I can only add my agreement to the others. A wonderful post. Sustaining and relevant to me.

Mary Lee said...

Ahh...Both of your poems are so beautiful, so hopeful, so...true. Thank you for this double dose of sustenance! (And thanks for hosting!)

Irene Latham said...

It is everything, indeed! Karen, if you will email me, I would love to print your poem in the literary journal for which I serve as poetry editor, Birmingham Arts Journal. Lovely! irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com. Thanks for hosting Roundup!

Carol said...

Both of these poems are so very beautiful. Thank you!

Carol Varsalona said...

Karen, I love the way both poems unfold, Karen-warm and satisfying, sustaining the promise of Love once given. Thank you for hosting PF today. I am
Going to bookmark both poems.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Thanks for hosting, Karen - and for sharing these! Beautiful imagery in both, and I love "It is nothing / It is everything."

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you for both of these poems! I love the image of the birds at the feeder in Barbara Crooker's and your "carefully constructing a promise." They make a lovely pair.

Little Willow said...

Thank you for hosting! I love starry skies.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks so much for doing the roundup this week, Karen. I love your poem!

P.S. My husband makes the best pizza dough!!!

Amy LV said...

Thank you, Karen. These are both so beautiful...both are going into my notebook. Your poem truly touched me - baking bread tonight with gratitude to you. xxxx

Karen Edmisten said...

You are all so kind! Thank you for your lovely words. It was with a trembly hand that I dared to post my poem next to Barbara Crooker's -- she's beautifully daunting, in the best way possible. :)

Kay, I'm just going to leave your links the way they are because I don't want to annoy Mr. Linky or cause him to accidentally delete anything that he (that I) shouldn't delete!

Irene, I'm honored -- thank you! I'll email you.

Amy, thanks, and enjoy your bread tonight! xoxo

Can't wait to visit all of you and your links today!

tanita✿davis said...

Your Atticus poems are THE BEST. I adore your marriage, which is a bizarre thing to say, but there, I've said it, and I won't take it back.
Of course, I love Barbara Crooker too -- I think this is the best tribute you could give her, is to write a poem of your own. SO lovely.

Karen Edmisten said...

Well, I adore you, Tanita, so there, I said it and I won't take that back either. :)

Thank you, friend! xo

Molly Hogan said...

Oh, these poems are both so lovely and uplifting. I love the two of them together. Sustenance. What a powerful, loaded word. Thanks so much for sharing these and for hosting this week.

Fats @ GatheringBooks said...

Love your poem, Karen! What a beautiful metaphor for marriage! More power to you!