still taking accidental photos☺️😊
I like to read one book at a time if it’s the type of book that feels best that way, and so I set aside the novel I’d paired with my previous great poetry read, to begin the two books again, separately, afterwards.
I am reading Selected Poems by Lord Byron that I began outside beside a forest near my home beneath a shady pine in Massachusetts, a favorite spot poet May Ziadeh liked to sit herself, but in the countryside of Lebanon.
But first I sat in the sun and just drank tea. This was a new flavor to me newly tried “Golden Flowers”, an oolong, a humble tea… and also delicious, a tea flavor to drink outside. The cup was warmed by the sun for a long time.
Lord Byron was a top favorite poet of May’s, and I am reading him at this time eighty years after her death in honor of her, as you may have seen from the previous posts. I liked how when I opened the book I knew right away that Lord Byron’s first poem, “A Fragment,” must have been referenced by May in her own original take on the idea with her poem, “Fragment,” at the early beginning of her book Dream Flowers (1911).
When I got to May’s mention of the poet’s name, Lord Byron in the book, I immediately remembered a poem in progress myself (which will appear in my third book I am working on) that I’d begun before reading May’s book, and it was that moment I realized, “I need to check this Byron; I really feel he is not the poet I am thinking of to play this particular part in my poem in progress,” and I was right, so I had changed the slot in that poem to the name ”Wordsworth” after a little research of the poet’s work, in that finished poem by me in my book in progress.
And May’s ”Fragment” from Dream Flowers I enjoyed and loved right away; it reminds me now how I opened my own book in progress with a line poem of a short reply to (or comment) on a poem by a different poet, Louise Glück in her book, A Village Life before I’d read May, or Lord Byron, or thought much of writing reply.
“So this name speaks to me; it speaks to me and I kiss it for a long time, and then…”
—May Ziadeh, Dream Flowers 1911
Last sip of tea, moved to the shade to read
I was reading beneath the pine (it may not be a pine; you never know with me) when I heard and saw a cart coming nearby; I quickly moved my teacup and saucer and ballet flats out of the way, fast enough and also not too much in the way, for one of the maintenance workers.
He laughed a little amusedly after we said hello as he whizzed by me in that cart; it’s not everyday you might have to look out to maybe dodge a porcelain teacup and saucer upon the grass and soil with a few tea leaf crumbs at the bottom of the cup, along with a pair of ballet flat shoes, 🧚♂️beside a book of poetry that’s currently being read near the forest.
And then as I was going back in with an armful of poetry, teacup (priority care holding), my keys jingling around my wrist on a pale green band, a water canteen, and great headphones looping over my upper arm, there comes another maintenance man, the one who was hesitant to come inside my apartment when called to fix something and I’d forgotten, as when he knocked that day, I’d been blasting on rare occasion a great, celebratory organ music song about the Virgin Mary with an ornate green and gold teacup, which looked like a chalice, on my coffee table, that caught his eye at the entrance. This time, he smiled in greeting and flew by, smirk quickly hidden.