Monday, May 04, 2009

Last week Rachel challenged us to learn a poem by heart. So I picked William Carlos William's 'To a Poor Old Woman'. Yes I know it's a short one, lol.

Rachel, to her credit, picked 'Inversnaid' by tongue-twistery G.M. Hopkins. I love Hopkins, especially for his tongue-twisteryness, awkward wording and sprung rhythm but I wouldn't like to have to recite him. Rachel's recitation of 'Inversnaid' can be found here. If I could find my MP3 player I'd post my WCW recitation, but I'm still looking for it.

I adore 'To a Poor Old Woman'. I find myself wandering the streets muttering " they taste good to her, they taste good to her, they taste good to her". I did try to add a youtube reading of it to this post but it's not working! So here's the poem on the page instead:


To a Poor Old Woman
by William Carlos Williams


munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

9 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

I love the idea of pregnant you wandering the streets reciting this! Even if we never hear you (surely someone you know must have a fancy phone...accost someone in the street and shout 'record me!' - they won't dare say no) at least we have this mental picture. Methinks there might be a poem in there too...
x

Roxana said...

i love this poem too, i have discovered it recently, a gift from someone dear to me. "she gives herself to the one half" - it's a better description of 'enjoy the now' than any Ronsard sonnet...

(and of course i totally agree with Rachel :-)

Sorlil said...

of course, it's the preganancy isn't it - "they taste good to her", lol, didn't even click :)

hi roxana, yes I'd love to see you photographing plums, the only person I know that could do justice to the poem!

Roxana said...

oh thank you! but no, i'm afraid nothing i can do could match this poem :-) but i am honoured that you think otherwise :-)

James Owens said...

It is a beautiful poem. Like the others, I'd love to hear you read it, too.

WCW was a subtler thinker than he often gets credit for. This poem fills the world.

Sorlil said...

roxana, I'm fully confident that you could :)

"This poem fills the world" - how wonderfully put! my reading of it is up on rachel's blog now!

Dick said...

I'm re-discovering WCW at present so good to see this displayed.

I've spent long intense and concentrated hours on my selected piece. Think I've got it now. Here it is from memory.

Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.

Ogden Nash

ambersun said...

Yeah I like this poem too - the repetition of 'they taste good to her' really works doesn't it?

I'll try to see if I can hear you reading it.

Amber

Sorlil said...

lol dick, too good :)

hi amber, yes definitely sticks in your head.