Warming Up The Lyrical Muscles

npm_2007_poster_thb_shd.jpgAs I reported previously, in a breaking news story that you only found here at RCBlog, April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate this glorious month, the good folks down at River City Books are sponsoring an open-mike poetry night at 9 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at The Contented Cow. That is, the evening is intended for poetry fans of all stripes — whether you craft verse for a living or you once read a poem a long time ago that you can’t remember the name of, this night is for you. Bring your own poem or someone else’s, read it interpretively or deadpan, or just come to listen. The event is free. Of course.

To help us all get warmed up for that special evening I’ll be posting poems in this space between now and then. Lest you’re concerned about my poetry credentials — and I wouldn’t blame you; the last poem I wrote started out “There once was a woman from Kell …” — rest assured that the poems I’ll be posting were selected by Stephanie Walker, RCB bookseller and the store’s resident poetry guru.

Enough disclaimers. Onto Ms. Walker’s first selection:

somewhere i have never traveled
By E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

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