Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

30 Days of Love: ‘love’s austere and lonely offices’

image

Today’s post is short but sweet, and courtesy of one of the best poets I’ve ever loved: Robert Hayden.  At times in my life I have been without words: desperately lonely, or bitterly angry, or lost in one of those interior labyrinths we all know so well. Hayden has always been there before me, to get me through.

Today, as I thought about love, community, and writing, he was there for me once again. The prompt for 30 Days of Love is to write our stories: of ourselves, of now, of our community. Hayden did all that, far better than I can dream of doing. His work memorialises  both day-to-day life and  great historic tragedies, as well as the injustice rained upon a black man in mid-century America. All of these are fitting, given today’s prompt.

Advertisement

The poem below is one that reminds — every time I read it — of how little we know about love.

Those Winter Sundays ~ Robert Hayden

Sundays too
my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blue black cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the
cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently
to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Previous Posts

sick leave, or, big sky mind
Food poisoning is the pits. Actually, I can't think of a publicly permissible word that truly describes the experience. Suffice to say? Horrible. It sneaks up on you, after what seemed like a normal meal, and suddenly you're sicker than you ...

posted 5:16:20pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

in praise of fathers, or, Happy Birthday, Daddy
Today is my father's birthday. He would be so old: 98. He's been gone more than 20 years, and I still miss him. In my memory, this is how I always see him -- ...

posted 8:42:11pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

anticipation
Sometimes I think what I love best about vacations is the anticipation. The planning, the tour guides, cruising websites, learning all I ...

posted 5:15:55pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

poetry as mentor
So by now everyone knows it's National Poetry Month. And ...

posted 3:37:56pm Apr. 18, 2015 | read full post »

what poets do
I'm always trying to explain to people 'why poetry?' But today I found a poem that says it far better than I can, and by one of my favourite poets ~ Lawrence ...

posted 12:22:13pm Apr. 16, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.