Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday: A Homecoming of Sorts

It’s been awhile since I posted anything for Poetry Friday and I have missed our cozy little community greatly. I am glad that both Iphigene and Fats were kind enough to fill in for me. As we were traveling over the past month, being back here in Singapore is also a ‘homecoming.’ While we did enjoy our travels, there is nothing quite like lying down in your own bed and having homecooked meals and doing the mundane, the routine, the delicious commonplace that are sorely missed. Thus, my poetry offering today has this theme of being home. Poetry Friday is hosted this week by one of my favorite teacher-bloggers of all time, Tara from A Teaching Life. Visit her amazing blog to see the round-up post.

Journey Home by Rabindranath Tagore

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!’
The question and the cry `Oh, where?’ melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!’

A Letter from Home by Mary Oliver

I discovered Mary Oliver’s poetry through the fabulous Jama Rattigan from Jama’s Alphabet Soup and I have fallen in love with Oliver’s writing. Here is one of her poems that hit quite close to ‘home.’ Very poignant in its cryptic codes and allusions.

She sends me news of blue jays, frost,

Of stars and now the harvest moon

That rides above the stricken hills.

Lightly, she speaks of cold, of pain,

And lists what is already lost.

Here where my life seems hard and slow,

I read of glowing melons piled

Beside the door, and baskets filled

With fennel, rosemary and dill,

While all she could not gather in

Or hid in leaves, grow black and falls.

Here where my life seems hard and strange,

I read her wild excitement when

Stars climb, frost comes, and blue jays sing.

The broken year will make no change

Upon her wise and whirling heart; –

She knows how people always plan

To live their lives, and never do.

She will not tell me if she cries.

I touch the crosses by her name;

 I fold the pages as I rise,

And tip the envelope, from which

Drift scraps of borage, woodbine, rue.

How about you, dear friends? What poems bring a sense of home to you?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “Poetry Friday: A Homecoming of Sorts

  1. Two poets close to my heart this Poetry Friday! So,these were the lines that spoke to me:
    The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

    She knows how people always plan
    to live their lives, and never do

    Interesting how, across the span of time and culture, these two poets speak the same language, express the same message. Thank you for sharing these two…and welcome back, dear Myra!

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  2. I love the lines, “Lightly, she speaks of cold, of pain,/ And lists what is already lost” and how subtle and nuanced this poem is. I’m becoming a big fan of Mary Oliver thanks to Poetry Friday.

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  3. “her wise and whirling heart” — those are words to aspire to! Thanks for sharing this. I, too, have long loved Mary Oliver’s work. First fell in love with “Wild Geese” as many have before and since. Happy day to you!

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    • It is wonderful to be home. The first thing I notice whe I’ve been away is the smell of the cypress wood that covers the walls of our back entrance. I hope you enjoyed your travels and left your track on many a star.

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  4. Welcome back! It was nice hearing from Fats and Iphigene — that’s great you have poetic “sitters” while you’re on holiday. Thanks for sharing Tagore and Oliver! Love them both.

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  5. Welcome “Home,” Myra! I’ve missed you, though the blog is always in good hands. Thanks for sharing these thoughtful, moving poems today.

    Those lines Tara picked, “She knows how people always plan /To live their lives, and never do.” jumped out at me too. Some folks really live, though, like your traveling, poetic self!

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  6. I like Ms. Oliver’s poem! 😀

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  7. Sorry. I think I hit the wrong reply button. Nevertheless, I’m glad you’re home, too!

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  8. Pingback: A July Round Up: Blogiversary, Photo Journal, Reading Challenges, July Winner for AWB Reading Challenge and Much Much More «

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