‘Hymn to Life’ and other hymns in the feeds

There’s been lots of poetry in this blog recently. Why? I’m not totally sure. But I’m guessing it’s because I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and do much other than read short things. The same is true for photo-cropping. These things are activities than fit in between one’s other activities.

But the trend may also be just a nice run. Sometimes I go weeks without seeing a poem I like. Other times, like recently, I seem to run across them everywhere. Take a recent New Yorker. I like both poems, and that almost never happens. Maureen N. McLane’s “Taking a Walk in the Woods After Having Taken a Walk in the Woods with You” contains just two lines, and it’s terrific. Joseph Brodsky’s “In Villages God Does Not Live in Corners” ends at a different place from me theologically, and it’s terrific.

But my favorite recently was in the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day feed last week, arriving just a day or so before the wimpy non-snowstorm snowstorm here. James Schuyler’s “Hymn to Life” is the longest poem I’ve ever seen the feed publish, but once I begin reading it, I can’t stop. The poem runs at a beautiful, loping pace through the stumbles of a spring arriving in Washington, from the dreary end of winter to temperamental stabs at warmth to the ground finally warming into seasonal sustainability and new life, getting hot even but blessedly so. Read it. Just try to stop.

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