Poetry under the Florida stars

What a week! My husband Charles Hobson finished last decade by retiring as surgical intensivist at VA Hospital and enjoyed two full days of retirement before embarking on his new adventure- surgeon intensivist at North Florida Regional Medical Center. It was not easy to say good buy to so many colleagues, friends and patients he has touched with his compassionate care, big smile and selfless dedication to medical teaching. We celebrated with Publix cake, selfie and walk down the memory lane! He has left decade of work as “Doctor Doctor” (MD, MHA toped with PhD in Health Services Research in 2019) and many publications.

But that was just a prelude to the live poetry night on January 4th to celebrate Winter Solstice, new decade and Charles Hobson‘s birthday- a brilliant idea fueled by communal love for written word shared with a group of friends and colleagues. My resolution was strenghten after reading Dana Gioia‘s essay “Can Poetry Matter?” shared by Mónica Villalón. The article eloqauntly argues how poetry has quietly became a subculture that nobody but insiders care about: “Most editors run poems and poetry reviews the way a prosperous Montana rancher might keep a few buffalo around—not to eat the endangered creatures but to display them for tradition’s sake.” The closing paragraph sealed my inspiration: “Society has already told us that poetry is dead. Let’s build a funeral pyre out of the dessicated conventions piled around us and watch the ancient, spangle-feathered, unkillable phoenix rise from the ashes.” And so we have built a beautiful bonfire under the starry Florida sky and asked a circle of friends of all convictions and feathers to recite poems they chose to enter new decade and celebrate our birthday with. Let’s free the poetry from an intellectual ghetto into the warm Floridian night and virtual universe!

This is the bright home

in which I live,

this is where

I ask

my friends

to come,

this is where I want

to love all the things

it has taken me so long

to learn to love.

THE HOUSE OF BELONGING by David Whyte
“House of Belonging” is the poetry book that has guided my soul when lost in wilderness and sadness in the last two decades.” Azra

“Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!”

“Let America be America” by Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

I wish words of Langston Hughes remind us of hope and true greatness of our country. Malini

“To have a New Year
Which deserves that name
You, my friend, have to deserve it,
You have to make it new, I know that it’s not easy,
But try, experiment, be conscious.
It’s inside of you that the New Year
Has always been dormant and waiting. “

RECEITA DE ANO NOVO by Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987)

The sound of the words of this poem written by one of the most important Brazilian poet resonates with the beauty of Portuguese language. Christine

“A place on the earth, untenured,
Soil, grass, brick, air; To know I will never have to move; To review the seasons from one lair.
When night comes, to lie down in peace; 
To know that I may die as I have slept;
That things will not revert to a stranger’s hand; 
That those I love may keep what I have kept.”

HOMELESS by Vikram Seth

The message of this poem is timeless.Aida

Aner

God has mercy on the kindergarten children

On the school kids, less than that

And on the grownups he has no mercy at all

He leaves them alone

Yehuda Amichai presented by Aner

“First divesting ourselves of worldly goods, as St. Francis teaches,
in order that our souls not be distracted,
by gain and loss, and in order also
that our bodies be free to move.
easily at the mountain passes, we had then to discuss
whither or where we might travel, with the second question being
should we have a purpose…”

“Parable” by Louise Glück read by Monica

“First divesting ourselves of worldly goods, as St. Francis teaches,
in order that our souls not be distracted,
by gain and loss, and in order also
that our bodies be free to move.
easily at the mountain passes, we had then to discuss
whither or where we might travel, with the second question being
should we have a purpose…”

“Parable” by Louise Glück read by Monica

3 thoughts on “Poetry under the Florida stars

  1. Cambia todo Cambia. Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009)

    Cambia lo superficial. The meaningless changes
    Cambia también lo profundo. The profound also changes
    Cambia el modo de pensar. The way of thinking changes
    Cambia todo en este mundo. Everything in this world changes
    Cambia el clima con los años. The weather changes as years go by
    Cambia el pastor su rebaño. The shepherd changes his flock
    Y así como todo cambia. And just as everything changes
    Que yo cambie no es extraño. That i change is not at least strange
    Cambia el mas fino brillante. The finest diamond changes its brightness,
    De mano en mano su brillo. As it moves from hand to hand,
    Cambia el nido el pajarillo. The bird changes its nest
    Cambia el sentir un amante. The lover´s feelings change
    Cambia el rumbo el caminante. The traveler´s path changes
    Aúnque esto le cause daño. Even if it causes pain
    Y así como todo cambia. And just as everything changes
    Que yo cambie no es extraño That I change is not the least strange
    Cambia todo cambia Changes, everything changes
    Cambia todo cambia
    Cambia todo cambia
    Cambia todo cambia
    Cambia el sol en su Carrera The sun changes its course
    Cuando la noche subsiste When the night stays
    Cambia la planta y se viste The plant changes and
    De verde en la primavera Wears green in the spring
    Cambia el pelaje la fiera The beast changes its coat
    Cambia el cabello el anciano Tthe elder hair changes
    Y así como todo cambia. And just as everything changes
    Que yo cambie no es extraño That i change is not at least stran
    Pero no cambia mi amor But my love doesn’t change
    Por mas lejo que me encuentre No matter how far away I find myself
    Ni el recuerdo ni el dolor Neither the memories nor the pain
    De mi pueblo y de mi gente Of my people and my folks
    Lo que cambió ayer Whatever was changed yesterday
    Tendrá que cambiar mañana Will have to change tomorrow
    Así como cambio yo Just as I change
    En esta tierra lejana In this foreign land
    Cambia todo cambia Changes, everything changes
    Cambia todo cambia
    Cambia todo cambia
    Cambia todo cambia
    Pero no cambia mi amor But my love doesn’t change

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As promised, a small addition to the collection by Anna Swir (from ‘Talking to Your Body’)

    Priceless Gifts

    An peppy day without events,
    And that is why
    it grew immense
    as space. And suddenly
    happiness of being
    entered me.

    I heard
    in my heartbeat
    the birth of time
    and each instant of life
    one after the other
    came rushing in
    like priceless gifts.

    Like

  3. as promised …

    Priceless Gifts

    An empty day without events.
    And that is why
    it grew immense
    as space. And suddenly
    happiness of being
    entered me.

    I heard in my heartbeat
    the birth of time
    and each instant of life
    one after the other
    came rushing in
    like priceless gifts.

    Anna Swir (from “Talking to my body”)

    Liked by 1 person

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