Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Golden Mean - Reprise

With a nod to the beauty offered us all by the blog Whiskey River:

"When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality."
- Andrei Tarkovsky
Sculpting In Time

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский) (April 4, 1932–December 29, 1986) was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century.

"Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private."
- Allen Ginsberg

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression. In the 1950s, Ginsberg was a leading figure of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl", in which he celebrates his fellow "angel-headed hipsters" and excoriates what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States, is one of the classic poems of the Beat Generation.

"I think there's a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there's still time."
- W. S. Merwin

William Stanley Merwin (New York City, September 30, 1927) is an American poet, credited with over 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin's unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration. In the 1980s and 1990s, Merwin's writing influence derived from his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in Hawaii, he writes prolifically and is dedicated to the restoration of the islands' rainforests.

Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in both 1971 and 2009) and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets, as well as the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings. In 2010, the Library of Congress named Merwin the seventeenth United States Poet Laureate to replace the outgoing Kay Ryan.

It is that last quote that tipped me into sharing these three men. When I am at my best, I am trying to "save the world". I am not sure what that means but I am sure I am trying to do it. I completely agree that my poetry comes from this place of urgency and peace all paradoxically entwined. That is why I have written so many, and also why they come so easily. That I want to save the world is undoubted. That I am effective at it - that's another matter entirely.

The Golden Mean

If I ever found
The Golden Mean where you said,
Behind the dogwood
Where that squirrel buried it,
I would stop acting foolish,
Running all around,
Pointing fingers at goblins
I made up from scratch.

First posted Saturday, November 8, 2008


  1. I had to look the word up. The good news is that Google is very very good. I think you are my best blog friend. Thank you.

  2. thanks for the sweet poem and the wonderful array of poets. i am studying american sign language right now and have also discovered sign poetry.... it seems ginsberg was a huge advocate for this ( then ) radical embodied poetics that was emerging in deaf culture in the 60's and 70's. quite the guy.

  3. I love the idea of signed poetry. There would be a whole new set of allegories because movement is involved. Wow. Ginsberg was not an easy man to live with. I am sure of that. In fact I believe many poets, like many artists in general need special partners because the part that goes into the art is most often not available for relationship. We protect this part and also the time devoted to it. This time can grow to full time and beyond in special creative periods and then we are terrible partners.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!