Monday, September 21, 2009

Spontaneous Awesome

The rain is creeping in. Every so often you feel a chill crawl down the collar of your shirt and you wish you had a sweater on, sitcoms are reappearing on network television, the equinox is tomorrow and from tree-top to tree-top leaves are contemplating a change of wardrobe, but most importantly, most essentially and obviously heralding an encroaching autumn, flag-football has started here in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. I'm proud to announce our faculty team trounced a team of tenth graders 40-20. Yeah, that's right. We're those guys.


Yonder Mountain has a new album. For me, the jury is still out, though I'm happy to have some new tunes to rock to while I grade.


Killer first line of the now:

"Like battered old millhands, they stand in the orchard—"

from the W.D. Snodgrass poem "Old Apple Trees"
(Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems, BOA Editions, 2006)

I love this poem. There's so much to be learned from the way Snodgrass turns the poem. I tried to find the full-text so I could post a link, but it turns out the only one that seems to exist is to the New Yorker, where the poem was originally published, but access requires a subscription, which I have, though I bristle at having to prove this. Regardless--a great poem that closes with these lines, made all the more powerful after the giant leaps the poem manages to navigate (from orchards to dive bars to ancient Thebes):

Soon, each one of us will be taken
By dark powers under the ground
That drove us here, that warped us.
Not one of us got it his own way.
Nothing like any one of us
Will be seen again, forever.
Each of us held some noble shape in mind.
It seemed better that we kept alive.

Please. Find this poem. Read it. Eat an apple. Stir.


This. Video. Rules. Make sure you hang in there until a little after a minute...


kak said...

Thanks for your kind words about my late husband's poem; it's one of my favorites too. You might be interested to learn it has a musical underpining, the first line of the 1950s song, "Heatwave": We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave." It's very clear in the first line; later, De worked variations on it.
Kathy Snodgrass

Brittany Cavallaro said...

love that snodgrass poem.

Kells said...

love the video.

(By the way, found your blog through Eduardo's links).

All best,

Luke said...


Thank you so much for stopping by, and for providing that great inside bit of information. I tracked down "Heatwave" and strangely, have had it stuck in my head since. I'm incredibly grateful for your late husband's work--,Heart's Needle all the way through to Not for Specialists, it's an enormous gift he gave the world.


You and me both!


Isn't it great? Almost as fun as watching the guy dance is watching the characters sprinting past the camera. Thanks for stopping by!