Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Today is the birthday of Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur, born in NYC in 1921. Of the major poets of his generation he is one of the last still living and writing. Today is also the birthday of poets Robert Lowell and Robert Haas. Hass once said: "Everyone ... wants to say in their own terms what it means to be alive.... Take time to write. You can do your life's work in half an hour a day."
Here's one of Wilber's, called ELSEWHERE
The delectable names of harsh places:
Cilicia Aspera, Estremadura.
In that smooth wave of cello-sound, Mojave,
We hear no ill of brittle parch and glare.
So late October's pasture-fringe,
With aster-blur and ferns of toasted gold,
Invites to barrens where the crop to come
Is stone prized upward by the deepening freeze.
Speechless and cold the stars arise
On the small garden where we have dominion.
Yet in three tongues we speak of Taurus' name
And of Aldebaran and the Hyades,
Recalling what at best we know,
That there is beauty bleak and far from ours,
Great reaches where the Lord's delighting mind,
Though not inhuman, ponders other things.