Hero's Poetry Journey, week 11
Hello, Poetry Friend
We didn’t do all this trial-ing for nothing, y’all. There is a boon to be found in that inner cave: a treasure, a blessing, an unexpected favor.
Even your average mother is a saint. She sacrifices herself for her children in a million letting-go’s. Much of that is necessary. Some of it is not.
The thing I sacrificed was music. To be honest, it didn’t feel like a sacrifice — more like something I outgrew. But in the dark of the empty cave, I began to sing. There was an old out-of-tune piano in there, and I started plunking my way back to playing. It’s been like sweet fruit coming back after Snowpacalypse decimated our peach trees in February 2021, and then, come summer — can I get a hallelujah! — somehow … peaches.
“From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee
I love this poem because I live in peach country and I can picture the blossoms, the brown paper bags, the signs, the boughs, the roadside stands, the fresh-picked fruit. I also love this poem because it elevates eating a peach to something religious in nature.
Look at the church-y words Lee uses: fellowship, dust/dusty (3x), love, adore, jubilance, joy (4x), death, and wing (x2). This peach-boon is an impossible blossom.
Could I have found my peaches, my music, without this arduous journey of trials? Perhaps. But my music would not have this skin, this shade, this sugar formed in these hard days.
From Blossoms From blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward signs painted Peaches. From laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship in the bins, comes nectar at the roadside, succulent peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat. O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard, to eat not only the skin, but the shade, not only the sugar, but the days, to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into the round jubilance of peach. There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom. –Li-Young Lee
Read Lee’s poem. Jot down what you notice, what you like, what you don’t, what questions you have, and at least one way in which the poem speaks to your soul.
What boon have you found in your inner cave? Write about it.
Read Lee’s poem aloud. Pick one phrase or line or stanza you can tuck deep in your heart.
Write your own haiku about this stage of your hero’s poetry journey. (Mine is at meganwillome.com.) If you like, email me what you write.
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