|view from my porch room|
on a beautiful October day
by Karle Wilson Baker
Some days my thoughts are just cocoons--
all cold, and
dull, and blind,
They hang from dripping branches in the gray
woods of my
And other days they drift and shine--
such free and flying
I find the gold-dust in my hair,
left by their brushing
I found this poem in an old book on the shelf, One Thousand Beautiful Things (copyright 1947 :-) and thought of my friend Peggy who often drops in and encourages me with her comments. But when I posted about the hummingbird, Peggy answered with "I feel a lot like a hummingbird--beating frantically just to stay in place." When I posted about the praying mantis and asked what insect readers might draw parallels from, Peggy responded, "The worker bee--buzzing around, working like crazy, never having time to smell the roses."
And I felt the frustration behind the words. Feel it in my own writing world sometimes. Know it's in many lives. So, I post this poem to say, let's spread some gold dust around! Here's a sprinkle for you, Peggy, with hopes that the upcoming week slows down a bit so you can do some of those things you really want to do--filled with thoughts that are free and flying.
Oh, and by-the-way, who's Karle Wilson Baker anyway? I wondered about that, too, since I had never heard of her before. That's right--Karle Wilson Baker was a woman as I found out in my research. She lived from 1878-1960 and became well-known in the early 20th century as a noted poet from Nacogdoches, Texas. I immediately felt an affinity to Karle, the poet with the unusual name (for a girl) and also for the fact that I once enrolled in a novel-writing course and my instructor was from...Nacogdoches, Texas!
"Poetry came naturally to her," according to Sarah Jackson in an on-line biography (here). Her poetic styles included the lyric, sonnet, narrative, and ode. Jackson also writes that she had "a strong sense of imagery and of figures of speech, especially metaphor."
In Karle's own words in a diary entry dated 1917, she wrote: "Writing my poems is seldom more laborious than skimming the cream from my thoughts. It just needs time and quiet to rise."
Oooh, if it were only that easy, right? Well, although we might envy such a talented poet, Jackson reports that while poetry came easy, Karle's attempts at fiction did not. So she had her frustrating writing days, too!
Maybe those were the days when a girl named Karle wished that gold-dust fell from the sky, too?
Are you having cold, cocoon-thought days lately, or flying-thought days when you wear gold-dust in your hair?