Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9: Poet of the Week, D. H. Melhem, "Nearing Glacier," "Ives" Dip, Off the Top of My Head

I am going to do something that I haven't done before right now.  I am going to choose a Poet of the Week that I know nothing about.  By the end of the week, I am hoping that I will have found a new favorite poet (I have many).

So, I have a box of poetry collections sitting on the floor of my university office.  The books were given to me by a friend and colleague who retired a couple years ago from the English Department.  On top of one of the stacks is a book titled Country:  An Organic Poem.  Its cover is beautiful, and, flipping through its pages, I find a couple of lines of poetry that are beautiful.  Like icicles in the sun.

D. H. Melhem is Saint Marty's Poet of the Week, and I'm going to start with this poem:

Nearing Glacier

by:  D. H. Melhem

Past Havre, past Butte, Montana
earth upon earth arises till
clouds are the range.

God in the mountains
indifferent to personal cries
talks eternity
to the clouds.

I'm a sucker for a poem that talks about eternity and God.  This poem is right up my alley.  The God here isn't really warm and fuzzy.  This God is like a famous writer you want to meet at a dinner party.  He stands by the shrimp plate, talking to a Yeats scholar, while you watch from across the room, questions about art and music boiling in your mind.

I always have tons of unanswered questions about death and poetry and the Kennedy assassination.  Lately, I have been dealing with questions like "Why did my sister die?" and "Why can't I provide better for my wife and children?" and "Will J. J. Abrams mess up Star Wars?"  You know, the BIG questions.

Yet, despite my struggles and frustrations today (and there is a fairly large list), I am thankful to have this office at the university.  I'm thankful to be able to stand in front of students and talk about subjects that I love.  I am thankful to be a teacher.

But, getting back to the J. J. Abrams question:

Is the new Star Wars movie going to be any good?

And the answer from Ives is:

And now, he thought, his boy was dead, and even if he were to rise, to be reincarnated in some other form, their lives would not be the same.

Yeesh, that doesn't sound very promising at all.  Reincarnation.  Star Wars in some other form.

Maybe Saint Marty should stay home on December 18.

Off the Top of My Head

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