Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone! Today, I am thankful for my Friday morning yoga class. That combination of movement and stillness sounds like the perfect thing after the rush of preparing a meal (I’m sous chef to my husband) and a lot of couch-time watching football.
Yesterday, my son’s high school participated in the 93rd annual Turkey Bowl. It’s a famous Baltimore-region high school football rivalry. Reportedly, 15,000 fans showed up at Ravens football stadium to watch the game. My teen is in the marching band. It was so much fun to see them perform their halftime show on my favorite football team’s field.
|My teen is in there somewhere!|
|Giving thanks for my favorite team, #1 in their division.|
I was driving to pick up my son and some band-mates after the game, and heard the radio program “GivingThanks.” The show included a conversation with the poet Dana Gioia. He headed the NEA under president Bush2.
(I once heard two poets arguing about how to pronounce Gioia's name. It's Joy-a.)
Gioia read two poems, the one below and “Prayer at Winter Solstice.” The images in this poem struck me, though I’m still thinking about why it fits the theme of “Thanksgiving.”
By Dana Gioia
The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.
And one word transforms it into something less or other--
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow
arching of neck or knee, the silent touching of tongues.
Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper--
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa
carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.
If you have time today, after packing up all your leftovers, I recommend listening to the full radio broadcast of Giving Thanks here. And a review of Gioia’s latest book, Pity the Beautiful, is at the Weekly Standard.
Another thing I am thankful for is having time with my children this weekend. No school. No games. No competitions. Just time to get caught up and be together.
Thanks to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for hosting today's Poetry Friday Roundup. Click through to find more poetry posts.