Friday, December 7, 2012

Poetry Friday: From the Hip

Sometimes, you need a plan. You've gotta think about things before you do them. Figure out what to do first, next, and last. Obsess over the details. Try to get it all right. Set yourself up to ensure success. Whether it's a lesson you're teaching, a vacation you're planning, or figuring out how to ask somebody out. Sometimes you need a plan.

And then there's those other times. The times when you just have to go for it and say "forget about a plan."

I'd love to be more like the latter, but I have to admit that it's the former that tends to describe my M.O. most of the time.

What's my point? Not sure. But today I'm picking the first poem I see to share with you. Rebellious, I know. But you have to start somewhere.

So here's the first one I found when I did some poetry hunting today, and it's by a poet I'm not all familiar with beyond the name, Willa Cather.


Where are the loves that we have loved before
When once we are alone, and shut the door ?
No matter whose the arms that held me fast,
The arms of Darkness hold me at the last.
No matter down what primrose path I tend,
I kiss the lips of Silence in the end.
No matter on what heart I found delight,
I come again unto the breast of Night.
No matter when or how love did befall,
'Tis Loneliness that loves me best of all,
And in the end she claims me, and I know
That she will stay, though all the rest may go.
Read the rest of this poem here. Not the most uplifting choice, but it's beautifully written, and that brings me joy. I wonder how long it took to write it. How much planning and thought went into it? How many drafts? Does great poetry ever come from the hip? Maybe in the early stages, when the idea first forms? Maybe someday I'll figure it out. Until then, be sure to enjoy the rest of the Poetry Friday offerings courtesy of today's host Read, Write, Howl


  1. Thanks for sharing this poem, Ben. You can't go wrong with a Writer's Almanac pick!

    Re. planning vs. shooting from the hip - well, I try to do the former and often end up doing the latter. Happy weekend!

  2. What a surprise to find THIS poem TWICE in the same roundup!

  3. This is so sad and beautiful. With free verse, I tend to shoot from the hip a bit more. With forms, I usually plan more. And in life, I'm *by far* more of a planner than a hipper:>) Like you, I'd love to be a bit more spontaneous...

  4. This one I found, as I searched from the hip. "Fear," by Raymond Carver from All of Us