japonisme: 5/31/09 - 6/7/09

04 June 2009

It’s more than the increasing depth of the day



What is it about this grassy field
that’s so familiar to me? Something
with the beings, the form of the place?

It’s not within
the foxtail,
not within
the brome, not within oat grass
or red clover
or yellow vetch
or the lot of them as one
motion in the wind.

It’s not the morning
or even of the morning,
or of the invisible
crickets, one near, one away,
still sounding
in the damp after dawn.

What is it so resonant and recognized here?
A sense like nostalgia,
like manner,
like a state felt but
not remembered?

It isn’t the center of the purple cornflower
or its rayed and fluted edges, not the slow
rise of the land or the few scattered trees
left in the fallow orchard, not the stone path,
not the grains and bristles of stems and seeds,
each oblivious in its own business,
but something impossible without these.

It’s more than
the increasing depth
of the day and
the blue of its height,
more than the half-body
of the lizard
turned upside down
on the path, torn
and transfigured during the night, more
than the bells beginning their lesson in the background.

It’s not a voice, not a message,
but something like a lingering,
a reluctance to abandon, a biding
so constantly present
that I can never
isolate it
from the disorderly crows
passing over or
from the sun moving
as wind down through the brief fires
of moisture on the blades of timothy

and sage, never separate it
from the scent
of fields drying and warm, never
isolate it from
my own awareness.

It is something
that makes possible,
that occasions without causing,
I can never extricate
to name, never
name to know,
never know to imitate.

Pattiann Rogers

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03 June 2009

high wild heather


Lost aboard the roll of Kodac-
olor that was to have super-
seded all need to remember
Somerset were: a large flock

of winter-bedcover-thick-
pelted sheep up on the moor;
a stile, a church spire,
and an excess, at Porlock,

of tenderly barbarous antique
thatch in tandem with flower-
beds, relentlessly pictur-
esque, along every sidewalk;

a millwheel; and a millbrook
running down brown as beer.
Exempt from the disaster.
however, as either too quick

or too subtle to put on rec-
ord, were these: the flutter
of, beside the brown water,
with a butterfly-like flick

of fan-wings, a bright black-
and-yellow wagtail; at Dulver-
ton on the moor, the flavor
of the hot toasted teacake

drowning in melted butter
we had along with a bus-tour-
load of old people; the driver

's way of smothering every r
in the wool of a West Countr-
y diphthong, and as a Somer-

set man, the warmth he had for
the high, wild, heather-
dank wold he drove us over.

Amy Clampitt

From The Collected Poems of
Amy Clampitt

published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Copyright © 1997.

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02 June 2009

au clair de la lune

- 1 -
Au clair de la lune
Mon ami Pierrot
Prête-moi ta plume
Pour écrire un mot
Ma chandelle est morte
Je n'ai plus de feu
Ouvre-moi ta porte
Pour l'amour de Dieu.

- 2 -
Au clair de la lune
Pierrot répondit
Je n'ai pas de plume
Je suis dans mon lit
Va chez la voisine
Je crois qu'elle y est
Car dans sa cuisine
On bat le briquet.

- 3 -
Au clair de la lune
L'aimable Lisa
Frappe chez la brune
Elle répond soudain
Qui frappe de la sorte?
Il dit à son tour
Ouvrez votre porte
Pour le Dieu d'amour.

- 4 -
Au clair
de la lune
On n'y voit
qu'un peu
On cherche
la plume
On cherche
du feu
En cherchant d'la sorte
Je n'sais c'qu'on trouva
Mais je sais qu' la porte
Sur eux se ferma.

Chanson enfantine du XVIIIe siècle
Interprète: Yvonne Printemps (1931)

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01 June 2009

still dancing!

listen to this song while viewing


March went out like a lion
Awakin' up the water in the bay;
Then April cried
and stepped aside,
And along came pretty little May!
May was full of promises
But she didn't keep 'em quick enough for some
And the crowd of doubtin' thomases
Was predictin' that the summer'd never come

But it's comin' by dawn,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart
You can see it in the ground

You can see it in the trees
You can smell it in the breeze

Look around! Look around! Look around!

June is bustin' out all over
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds're bustin' outa bushes
And the rompin' river pushes
Ev'ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!

June is bustin' out all over
The feelin' is gettin' so intense,
That the young Virginia creepers
Have been huggin' the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin' glories on the fence!
Because it's June...

June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

Fresh and alive and gay and young
June is a love song, sweetly sung

June is bustin' out all over!
The saplin's are bustin' out with sap!
Love has found my brother, Junior,
And my sister's even loonier!
And my Ma is gettin' kittenish with Pap!
June in bustin' out all over

To ladies and men
are payin' court.
Lotsa ships are kept
at anchor
Jest because the captains
Fer the comfort they kin only get in port!

Because it's June... June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

June makes the bay look bright and new
Sails gleamin' bright on sunlit blue

June is bustin' out all over
The ocean is full of
Jacks and Jills,
With the little tail a-swishing'
Ev'ry lady fish is wishin'
That a male would come
And grab 'er by the gills!

June is bustin' out all over!
The sheep aren't
sleepin' anymore!
All the rams that chase ewe-sheep
All determined there'll be
new sheep
and the ewe-sheep aren't even keepin' score!

On acounta it's June! June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

Rodgers & Hammerstein

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