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100-Day Project 98-100

days 98-100

We broke free of gravity.
But it didn’t last.

–Sarah C. Harwell, “Major Arcana:  The Moon”

When I finished #100, I had to do a bonus grid that included all the colors I used.

bonus grid all colors s

look up, to where we can never go,
to what won’t disappoint:

stars.

–Sarah C. Harwell, “Major Arcana:  The Stars”

And then, of course, a composite.  I think this arrangement really shows how I tried to work with the colors.  I’m pleased with the result.

days 1-100

It looks like a painting by someone I can’t remember.  How have I reached the point, is it age?
When the sky resembles a painting more than the sky?

–Sarah C. Harwell, “Cloud Cover”

I’ve been reading Sara C. Harwell’s book of poems “Sit Down Traveler” (can you tell?)  I especially love “Major Arcana:  The Stars”.  I discovered the poet through an interview that a former teacher of mine, Mary Tabor, did for Rare Bird Radio (http://www.maryltabor.com/2013/01/sarah-c-harwell-poet-interview.html).  You can also read several of Harwell’s poems here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/sarah-c-harwell

As to the grids:  although I won’t be doing them every day any more, I have lots of color explorations still in mind, so I won’t be giving them up either.  And I can highly recommend 100 day of something as an exercise.  I’ll be doing another one (many ideas), although probably not quite in such a disciplined way.  And I’ll be taking a break first!

100-Day Project 92-97

days 92-97

225  To Old Age

I see in you the estuary that enlarges and spreads itself grandly as it pours into the great Sea.

–Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

Walt Whitman’s life spanned the 19th century, and he was first a teacher and then a journalist, founding an anti-slavery newspaper in Brooklyn in 1848.  During the Civil War he worked in hospitals in Washington D.C. caring for the wounded.  After the war he took a job as a government clerk.

Whitman first published the work he is best known for, “Leaves of Grass”, in 1855, and continued to add to and revise it for the rest of his life.  We all studied it in high school (at least those of us growing up in the United States).  Like many of those writers, Whitman definitely speaks differently to me now.

You can read “Leaves of Grass” here (just click on the poem you want to read):
http://www.bartleby.com/142/index2.html

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days 82-87

days 88-91

days 92-97

 

You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 88-91

days 88-91

weather evocative as scent
the romance of dark stormclouds
in big skies over the low wide river
of long shadows and longer shafts of light

of smoke
fabulous film-noir stills of Central Station
of freezing fog silvering the chilled, stilled parks
of the glamorous past
where drops on a rainmate are sequins
in the lamplight, in the black-and-white

–Liz Lochhead, from “Some Old Photographs”

Liz Lochhead was Poet Laureate of Glasgow before becoming the National Poet of Scotland in 2011.  Artist and art teacher, poet, performer and playwright, she says:  “I think what satisfies me the most about poetry (is) that it is not for anything whatsoever….”

You can read the rest of the poem, and more poems, here:  http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poets/liz-lochhead

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 82-87

days 82-87

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness–
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

–Langston Hughes, “Walkers With the Dawn”

Twentieth Century poet, novelist, playwright, and journalist Langston Hughes has been in and out of fashion with both critics and other African-American artists since he came to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s.  Like some of the poets that influenced him, Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, he preferred to reflect with pride the language and culture of ordinary black lives rather than intellectualized or idealized concerns and ideas.

Hughes was one of the first American poets to use the rhythms of jazz and blues in his writing.  He wanted his work to be read and understood by all people, not just an elite and educated few, and in this he succeeded.

http://www.poetrysoup.com/langston_hughes/biography

I’m almost caught up with my grid posts, and I hope to post #100 on the actual 100th day.

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 78-81

days 78 79 80 81

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back    may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

–Lucille Clifton, “Blessing the Boats”

Lucille Clifton was an African-American poet whose straightforward and unembellished words spoke deeply about women, family, and social issues.  She also wrote children’s books.   Nominated for a Pulitzer 3 times, Clifton won the National Book Award for “Blessing the Boats”, and served as the Maryland poet laureate from 1974-1985.  You can read more about her here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/lucille-Clifton

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 72-77

days 72-77

Blue
songs are like tattoos
You know I’ve been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away

Hey Blue, here is a song for you

72 blue green s

I know, I already used Joni Mitchell for green.  But “Blue”…wow, what a song.

I listened to it many times before the images really registered…

74 blue orange s

songs are like tattoos…
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in

75 blue red s

Well there’re so many sinking now
You’ve got to keep thinking
You can make it thru these waves
Acid, booze, and ass
Needles, guns, and grass
Lots of laughs lots of laughs

77 blue purple s

Everybody’s saying that hell’s the hippest way to go
Well I don’t think so
But I’m gonna take a look around it though

Blue I love you

postcard shell 1

Blue
here is a shell for you
Inside you’ll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me

http://jonimitchell.com/

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 68-71

days 68-71

If we were such and so, the same as these,
maybe we too would be slingers and sliders,
tumbling half over in the water mirrors,
tumbling half over at the horse heads of the sun,
tumbling our purple numbers.

Twirl on, you and your satin blue.
Be water birds, be air birds.
Be these purple tumblers you are.

–Carl Sandburg, “Purple Martins”

I don’t know if Carl Sandburg is still taught in school (is poetry even taught at all anymore?), but he was certainly a well-known literary figure when I was growing up.  More than a poet, he collected folktales and ballads, worked as a journalist in Chicago, wrote children’s stories, and won a Pulitzer for his biography of Abraham Lincoln as well as for his poetry.  His poems use the experience and rhythms of everyday life and speech to reflect the industrial and urban landscape, but as one website I looked at commented, even urban lives were lived much closer to the natural world in the early 2oth century, and so:  purple martins.

Sandburg toured the country singing songs from his “American Songbag” and performing his verse to much acclaim.   His friend screenwriter Ben Hecht said of his renditions: “He spoke like a man slowly revealing something.”

You can read the entire poem here:  http://10000birds.com/purple-martins-by-carl-sandburg.htm

and more about Carl Sandburg here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/carl-sandburg

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 62-67

 

days 62-67

Speaking of sunsets,
last night’s was shocking.
I mean, sunsets aren’t supposed to frighten you, are they?
Well, this one was terrifying.
Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful.
It wasn’t natural.
One climax followed another and then another
until your knees went weak
and you couldn’t breathe.
The colors were definitely not of this world…

–Edward Taylor, from “Never Again the Same”

When I looked for information about Edward Taylor,  I expected to find that a contemporary poet had written these lines.  Wrong!  Taylor was born in England in 1642, and came to the Colonies in America in 1668 to avoid religious persecution.  A graduate of Harvard, he served as a pastor in the wilderness of Massachusetts (Indian troubles and all)  for 50 years.  His poems remained unpublished until the 1930’s, when they were discovered in 2 self-bound volumes in the Yale Library.

Many of the poems are religious in nature, and may have been used in sermons.  He is considered a metaphysical poet due to both his spiritual subject matter and the unusual way he combines images.

You can read the entire poem here:  http://www.inspirationalstories.com/poems/never-again-the-same-edward-taylor-poems/

and more about Taylor, who had a long and very full life, here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/edward-taylor

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 58-61

days 58-61

Let us go in and dance once more
On the dream’s glimmering floor,
Beneath the balcony festooned with roses.

Let us go in and dance once more.

–Conrad Aiken, from “Nocturne Of Remembered Spring”

American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken was forever marked by the murder-suicide deaths of his mother and father when he was 11.  He later attempted suicide himself, and was very interested the psychology of identity.  Mentored by his teacher, poet and philosopher George Santayana (“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”), he was also influenced by the French Symbolists, Freud, Poe, Whitman, and the forms and sounds of music.  He is largely responsible for establishing Emily Dickenson’s reputation as a major American poet; he edited her “Selected Poems”.  He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States.

Aiken’s poems seem like long meditative dreams to me; they are full of music and beautiful images.  He has a reputation as a “difficult” poet, but I think maybe we just lack the patience for long verse.  I found sections of several of his poems that seemed a good fit for these pink/neutral grids, but finally settled on the roses-dream-dance image.

You can read the entire poem here:  http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/2315/nocturne_of_remembered_spring

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/conrad-aiken

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/

100-Day Project 52-57

days 52-57

the cure for
this raucous world…
cherry blossoms

–Issa

Issa is one of the four great Japanese haiku masters.

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You can see all the 100-day project posts here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/