Jul. 25, 2010

Why I Love Mornings

by Nancy Boutilier

Ah, the possibility
of the uncut tree
all the blank pages it holds
the unwritten words that
will carve their way
into branches

The unopened gifts of morning
the untrammeled           untraveled
unimagined                      unseen
unsounded                        unmet
the ground still wet
or fresh with snow
something lost
or found.

I love the sunrise
for its seductive rays
inching themselves across
life's contours
inviting darkness out of corners
as night recedes
leaving the day smooth and untracked
like tide-soothed sands along the shore

I stand above the city
as the slow light
holds steadfast
a dull glow in the face of fog.
The sun is up
and day begins to settle
subtle and persevering
above the sparkling bay.

Below, the highway stretches
itself tight across the terrain.
The cars making their daily journeys
glisten with the possibility of changing
taking the wrong exit
to the left or right

How does one leave
without leaving behind?
How can I write the words
and let the tree stand?
Where does the dew go dry to
as the sun peels off the ordinariness of it all?
What will this day reveal?
What will the sun let fall?

"Why I Love Mornings" by Nancy Boutilier, from On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone: New Poems. © Black Sparrow Press, 2000. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

It's the birthday of writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer, (books by this author) born in New York City (1902), who said, "When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other."

It's the birthday of the painter known for his dreamlike landscapes full of attractive young women, Maxfield Parrish, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1870).

It was on this day in 1788 that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart entered into his catalog the completion of one of his most beloved works, Symphony Number 40 in G Minor (sometimes called "The Great G Minor Symphony"). It was written in the final years of Mozart's life, when things were not going well. An infant daughter had died a few weeks earlier, he had moved into a cheaper apartment, and he was begging friends and acquaintances for loans. But he wrote his last three symphonies, in the summer of 1788: Symphony Number 39 in E-Flat, Symphony in G Minor, and the Jupiter symphony. It is not known for sure whether Mozart ever heard any of these symphonies performed.

It's the birthday of novelist and playwright Elias Canetti, (books by this author) born in Ruse, Bulgaria (1905). His family was one of the oldest Sephardic Jewish families in Bulgaria, a family of successful merchants.

The family lived in England for a while, then in Vienna after his father died, then in Germany. His first book to gain much notice outside the German-speaking world was Crowds and Power (1960), about the mentality of crowds and how leaders are able to control them. After Crowds and Power became famous, people went back to look at what else he had written, and started reading his novel, Auto-da-Fé (1935, first published in German as Die Blendung). He won the Nobel Prize in 1981.

In The Human Province (1978), he wrote: "His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations."

It was on this day in 1897 that Jack London, (books by this author) 21 years old, set off for the Klondike Gold Rush. He developed scurvy and severe muscle pain, and he didn't make any money. But he was inspired by the adventurous lifestyle and wrote about it. Five years later, his book The Call of the Wild (1903) made him suddenly famous.

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




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