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Chrishayden
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Chrishayden

Post Number: 7707
Registered: 03-2004

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 10:32 am:   

Below an excerpt from an email discussion I posted on the poem

EUREKA!

Ruth:
What a difference a few days (and some out loud reading and re reading and scansion) make!
I had been privately disappointed with the Libbyverse (“Praisesong for the Day”) going so far as to state that it lacked “rhythm” and was my bete noire, which I call Stanziated Prose.
But the final test of a poem is reading it for oneself aloud (and getting the breaks)
I must admit, I like this more everytime I read it. I then broke it down—suggested linebreaks or breathbreaks, and found the rhythms—as well as the imagery, symbolism, subtleties (use of near rhyme an parallelism)
After a few readings, it begins to really rock.
Reminds me of the best of Robert Hayden

She might have thrown in some stuff for the groundlings (a few hard rhymes (“Even Yo mama/ voted for Obama”), som cussin’, some shoutouts for the people, but that is a personal preference.

My breaks—with no disrespect to the author, below



Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business
walking past each other
catching each others' eyes
or not,

about to speak
or speaking

All about us is noise.
All about us is noise and bramble
thorn and din

each one of our ancestors on our tongues

Someone is stitching up a hem
darning a hole in a uniform
patching a tire
repairing the things
in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum
with cello
boom box
harmonica
voice.

A woman and her son
wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky
A teacher says, "Take out your pencils
Begin."

We encounter each other in words
words spiny or smooth
whispered or declaimed
words to consider,
reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone
and then others
who said,
"I need to see what's on the other side;
I know there's something better
down the road."

We need to find a place
where we are safe
we walk into that
which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain,
that many have died for this day.
Sing the names
of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks,
raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce,
built brick by brick
the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean
and work in

APraise song for struggle
praise song for the day
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign
the figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by
"Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by
"First do no harm,"
or
"Take no more than you need."

What if the mightiest word is love

love beyond marital
filial
national

Love that casts a widening pool of light
Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle
this winter air
anything can be made
any sentence begun.

On the brink,
on the brim,
on the cusp

praise song for walking forward in that light.

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