May 14, 2009

The Day of the Sun

by Vijay Seshadri

The Day of the Sun

Arriving early at the limit of understanding,
I managed to find a good seat,
and settled in with the others,
who were fanning away the heat

with their programs full of blank pages.
The orchestra was in place,
and soon the show started.
First, deep space

rose high and flooded the stage,
immersing all the spots
where our thoughts could have fixed
if our minds had thoughts.

Which they didn't. Then
the sun came out and stood.
That was all that happened,
and ever would.

In the Month of May

In the month of May when all leaves open,
I see when I walk how well all things
lean on each other, how the bees work,
the fish make their living the first day.
Monarchs fly high; then I understand
I love you with what in me is unfinished.

I love you with what in me is still
changing, what has no head or arms
or legs, what has not found its body.
And why shouldn't the miraculous,
caught on this earth, visit
the old man alone in his hut?

And why shouldn't Gabriel, who loves honey,
be fed with our own radishes and walnuts?
And lovers, tough ones, how many there are
whose holy bodies are not yet born.
Along the roads, I see so many places
I would like us to spend the night.

"The Day of the Sun" by Vijay Seshadri, from The Long Meadow. © Graywolf Press, 2004. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
"In the Month of May" by Robert Bly, from Selected Poems. © Harper Perennial, 1986. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

It's the birthday of filmmaker George Lucas, born in Modesto, California (1944). His Star Wars movies are greatly influenced by Joseph Campbell's analysis of the mythic hero's journey. Star Wars was filmed in Tunisia and Death Valley. Lucas said, "Don't avoid the clichés — they are clichés because they work."

It's the birthday of fiction and travel writer Mary Morris, (books by this author) born in Chicago, Illinois (1947). During a period of personal turmoil, she received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and she took off for Latin America. Her experiences there formed the basis for her book Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone (1988). She's also the author of Wall to Wall: From Beijing to Berlin by Rail (1991) and House Arrest (1996), a novel about a travel writer who is forced to stay home.

She said, "Life only seemed to come together for me in stories and in journeys and those two 'narratives' — one of the mind and the other of the road — have shaped my life."

It was on this day in 1948 (the year 5708 according to the Hebrew calendar) that David Ben-Gurion proclaimed that the state of Israel had been formed. He said later: "There was no joy in my heart. I was thinking of only one thing: the war we were going to have to fight."

It's the birthday of playwright María Irene Fornés, born in Havana, Cuba (1930). Her plays include Fefu and Her Friends (1977), Mud (1983), and Oscar and Bertha (1992).

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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