I GOT READY FOR LOVE, NOW I GET READY FOR DEATH

I got ready for love, now I get ready for death,
With the same uncertainty, the same excited breath,
The same thrilling heartbeat, the same glad sadness,
The same restraint, the same dignity, as I hide my madness.

You saw me on the street, I smiled and said hello.
After a little conversation, I smile again. And go.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Ric Couchman said,

    March 26, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Brought a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing.

  2. noochinator said,

    March 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Once you get older, too aged to breed,
    Nature smiles indulgently — you’re no longer of need.

  3. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    A poem on a different, yet related problem. is this the same critical minimalist spirit of the age that wants to lop off all the branches of lyrical, ornamental Poetry beautiful through long Ages in favor of yesterday’s winter trees stark against the current only sky? I know no one will answer this question but I’m asking it anyway.

    A MEDITATION ON THOSE WHO JUDGE HOARDERS

    it’s the ultimate in nosiness isn’t it?
    those pictures of the inside of
    people’s houses, little apartments as if the

    cameras were bearing down on
    a crime scene:
    souvenirs from the World’s Fair 1939

    too many polka dot dresses in the closet;
    pick just one.
    why don’t we go all hog and just

    get a judge and jury in there.
    maybe the Supreme Court
    right there in the living room

    with all those magazine pathways.
    the New Year’s Eve confetti.
    Postcards! they’ll shriek.

    -the viewers at home lap it up.
    you keep postcards? salt water taffy?
    helping themselves to the candy

    from last Christmas;
    closeups on the mantlepiece dust…

    when I was young house guests were told
    by their mothers: bring something with you:
    you know, special soaps, a little bouquet of flowers

    a teacake. be nice at the party.
    don’t overstay your welcome.
    help wash up.

    nowdays they come to visit:

    simplify! they say; leading the way
    with a smile and a lot of energy.
    The trucks roll up, early onset,

    the bric a brac boxed goes out.
    burglars do the same.
    let the healing begin they murmur

    on their way out the door
    with your stuff.

    mary angela douglas 26 march 2016

    • noochinator said,

      March 27, 2016 at 9:01 am

      If the stuff is organized/indexed/findable, it’s not hoarding, it’s archiving!

  4. thomasbrady said,

    March 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    This poem is for the Easter passion.

    But to add to Nooch’s comment:

    “But, older, you can still teach a child!”
    Nah, Nature says, they breed more when they’re wild.

  5. anthony rock said,

    March 26, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    I respect and applaud anyone’s love of writing and literature and poetry. That being said, I wish poets would move their wares into the realm of entertaining reading. Yes, poets and their poem can be fun AND en-lighting to read. When I was younger I took a few axioms in terms of the creation of poetry to heart: one was: the poem should Always be something new! It should be unexpected and turn the mind, if only for a moment. As a consequence of this, I learned to avoid over-worn rhymes, like breath/death. I could make a million dull verses out of breath/death: ergo I took my last breath/it was as cold as death. yeah. not new. not interesting.

    …and…get this! a poem should be entertaining! Why in the name of the gods, is it wrong for a poem to be fun? And not sound like someone writing obscure words from a dictionary? No, the above poem was not out of a dictionary, but read just one issue of “Poetry” and you will know what I mean. Reading a poem SHOULD not be like filling out a report or doing homework, for the love of all evil!

    …and if you are going to do love poems, then take some ecstasy and write something when you are really fucking high. THAT would be interesting love poetry!!!

    And poets rant at the world for not appreciating their genius. Guess what? It is the poets job to transform common ideology and renew dull thinking. Bring a flashlight to the mind and illuminate what is already there and add a perspective to it! That is poetry, not the dull aching syntheses of yesteryear.

    I don’t understand, Thomas, how you can have such a brilliant mind for analysis in your essays, and such a stilted execution in your poetry.

    Keep in mind, this is simply my opinion. It seems many readers enjoy your poems. Nothing wrong, and no crimes have been committed…

    I’ve spent some time reading your site and your essays (which I find excellent) and the poems here, so this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction. It is meant to be constructive and insightful.

    One thing I think too many writers are guilty of is this (myself included): that we are so afraid of being wrong, we don’t leave room for what is right and new and interesting…

    cheers, peace…anthony

  6. thomasbrady said,

    March 27, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Anthony, thanks. I can’t make you like this little poem. An idea makes a poem original, entertaining and ecstatic. There’s only so many rhymes possible in the English language, and one has to dip into the dictionary to make unusual ones. The idea of this poem is “Getting ready” for love is just like “getting ready” for death—not that love and death are, in fact, the same, but anticipating them is the same: excitement, uncertainty, etc. Then in the poem the idea of restraint and dignity is introduced, which qualifies the comparison of “getting ready,” putting it into a more quotidian context, relieving the poem of some of its melodrama and actually making it more universal: as mortals, just walking down the street, we think about dying, or dream of love, and yet we keep our dignity, we smile, we have brief conversations, perhaps with a stranger. The madness of death, and love is hidden. The “you” in the poem is mysterious. Who is it? The poem is an occasional poem, symbolizing the passion of Christ, which involves death, of course, but also love, as Christ embraces the prophecy of the sacrifice—the basis of which is love. But the poem is not about Christ, but about those of us who might be thinking about, or observing Easter, meeting and greeting on the street. That’s what I was trying to convey.

  7. Gary B. Fitzgerald said,

    March 27, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Obsessed

    “Obsessed with death…”, the reviewer said.
    What else to be obsessed about? I replied.
    Whether the glory of reunion and love,
    the eternity which comes after,
    seeing again one loved who’s died
    or the final stark reality of simply gone,
    of being only dead.
    What else to be obsessed about? I said.

    Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD: 77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

    • noochinator said,

      March 27, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Leaving descendants: a familial dynasty, or a semblance of one that will continue on after one’s passing…. Of course I write as someone who’ll leave nothing to the world but two YouTube channels that will gradually crumble into digital dust….

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        Music never dies either.

  8. maryangeladouglas said,

    March 27, 2016 at 4:06 am

    The hope of the Resurrection.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

      A POEM FOR ONLY EASTER

      the skies are enameled turquoise
      robins egg blue
      we hear fantastical trumpets in our sleep

      and wake to dream
      the world is made of lilies
      ah, in the night the stars

      hid their faces
      the sun cried gold
      but now there’s dew on the grasses

      and we are new and of His fold
      alleluia
      alleluia

      mary angela douglas 27 march 2016

  9. thomasbrady said,

    March 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Nice poem, Gary.

    I think this takes the Easter prize, though:

    “we hear fantastical trumpets in our sleep”

    Mary never ceases to amaze.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      March 27, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you Thomas. I kind of liked that part too. Speaking of amazement reminds me of this blue and green poem by e.e. cummings:

      thank You God for most this amazing
      day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
      and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
      which is natural which is infinite which is yes

      (i who have died am alive again today,
      and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
      day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
      great happening illimitably earth)

      how should tasting touching hearing seeing
      breathing any–lifted from the no
      of all nothing–human merely being
      doubt unimaginable You?

      (now the ears of my ears awake and
      now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

      e.e. cummings
      1894-1962

      • maryangeladouglas said,

        March 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        sorry, poem-cake rose and bubbled over the pan. (but it’s still tasty)

        LULLABY, SWEET LULLABY, HUMMED FROM SPACE

        oh craning our necks from the Space capsule
        we saw the greening of Poetry all over the earth;
        the pink orchards, melting into cream;

        the stars over the purple birthdays.
        and the seas washed silver to gold
        and the children remembered in their sleep

        ah, without being told
        old stories unfurling on the scrolls
        of rose scented kingdoms.

        o then all the petals rained down
        of all the flowers at the same time;
        and mercury dimes for the

        wishing wells, the fountains;
        the furtive,the penny-splendid fudgesickle;
        the ice cream pastels;

        thin crusted chocolate on the
        popsickle bars of the bell curved vanilla
        and snapdragons, fugitive sales

        on the garden party shirtwaists
        in the afternoon
        half price Walt Disney, at the cinemas.

        and the trees in the national forests
        wept joyfully their leaves
        and the baby pine needles

        the curdled blue winds
        the milk in the cereal bowls
        changing colours-

        the children square dancing
        alemande left

        and are Happy

        mary angela douglas 26 march 2016


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