Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

Please join me with your comments and make this a dialogue . . . and visit Susan's Poetry!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Creator of Inwardness

Today The Paris Review posted A Creator of Inwardness, a fine remembrance of Susan Sontag, born today in 1933.  I quote:
I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t understand what I understand, were it not for certain books. I’m thinking of the great question of nineteenth-century Russian literature: how should one live? A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.
—Susan Sontag, 
The Art of Fiction No. 143

Elsewhere she wrote:

“My library is an archive of longings.” 

― Susan Sontag

This has been true for me, too.  Inwardness, desire and compassionin all of their complexitiesgrew in me through reading.


    Life was cushioned and dull until she 
entered books' portals and lived other lives 
besides her own—
     Dangerous dreaming time
in parallel universes she half
recognized in déjà vu dizziness—
    Naked characters dilemma-driven
at crossroads of life and death wrestling
with logic and emotion. 
     She listened whole-heartedly,
eavesdropping on mysteries of silence
that perplexed her in the everyday
with books shut and eyes on parents, pets,
teachers and classmates—
     She closed and hugged her novel
recognizing in nature each life as
a closed book with covers and inward
     She, too, designed a cover to protect
her inner spaciousness, growing like a tree
or iceberg greater beneath the surface.

Copyright © 2014 by S.L.Chast

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Madiba Poem by 11-year-old Botlhale Boikanyo

Here is one of the three reasons I stick with Facebook: friends spontaneously pass forward what moves them.  This amazing video came to me via poet Kay Davies who blogs at An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel.  She got it from Femi Oke who I see at Upworthy where she introduces herself: 
I’m an Al Jazeera journalist and broadcaster who’d love to show you around the globe. No passport needed because I’m going to curate the world for you. I’ll even let you keep your shoes on and drink 16 oz. sodas while following me on Facebook and Twitter.
From these social network beginnings, The Madiba Poem arrived here.  Later this year, I will use it for a poem prompt at Poets United where I have recently joined the creative team.  You could begin your poem now, as poet Botlhale Boikanyo or her poem or her performance or Nelson Mandela or any part of it inspires you.

Look at her smile
performing her poem
loving Mandiba's story.
Listen to her voice
turning two languages
into rivers that flow
into the human sea
part of which is me.
I want to rush out the door
with a magic marker
to write everywhere
Witness God Here.
God is Here, where
each of us stands.
Let us greet God here.