Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Friday, April 26, 2013

In Which I am Reminded of Old Dreams

Ok, so April is almost over, but it is National Poetry Month, and I never gave even a nod to that, which seems oh-so-wrong. I didn't carry around a poem in my pocket on Poem-in-Your-Pocket day. And then Monday was Earthday, and I didn't say anything about that, either.

So here's my nod to NaPoMo and Earthday both, and also to the part of myself that has always been a little Thoreauvian and would like to run away to a cabin in the woods and be a hermit.

When I was seventeen, I told my friends that was my career plan. Except at the same age I also wanted to be the essay-writer for the back of Time Magazine, so I suppose I'd have had to own a computer. Or else come down off the mountain once in awhile to read the news and send off my essay. Which makes the whole hermit-in-the-woods thing seem not very hermitish.

Neither of those plans have come to anything. I'm married with five children and live in a city. Which isn't such a bad thing, after all. I do grow beans and write. And occasionally things are peaceful. Like when everyone's at school and I'm walking on the mountain or writing my brains out. But once in awhile I have to dust off Yeats and Thoreau.

So here's to what might have been:



The Lake Isle of Innisfree

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

3 comments:

  1. I still have that dream. I would love to have 9 rows of beans to grow (especially green ones). But it doesn't mean reality can't be its own sort of dream.

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  2. I LOVE that poem! Memorized it a few years ago. My Yeats class at BYU was one of my faves.

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