Monday, April 03, 2006

The ordinary

Morning view of Arch from our hotel room

I was in St Louis this weekend - weather was nice. Saw the new Busch Stadium which is nearing completion for the Cardinals home opener. It certainly felt like spring time was itching to get underway.

I had a bit of an epiphany about what we see in life. An too, perhaps what we miss and I found a wonderful link between that and my view of poetry. It seems that sometimes when you look with a great deal of focus you can find the most unique and beautiful things among the ordinary.

I saw for example, in downtown St. Louis, an area richly green with ivy spread across the ground and amid it was planted the bright red on/off valve on a stem. Here was a man made flower so to speak in the midst of natures lush foliage. Some would perhaps discount this as an intrusion into nature and it could be viewed that way. I chose to look beyond that.

While waiting for my wife who was in the city on business, I happened upon a bead shop. I can't tell you how excited I was about this. I don't bead, but I have been in enough shops with my wife to know that she would have found this one exciting. Unfortunately they were closing before she was to be finished with her meetings, but I picked up a very small item for her there and she seemed delighted by it.

It has occurred to me that sometimes the ordinary is only ordinary if we allow it it be. Yes, there are many extraordinary things in this world that we can marvel at, but it is important to not overlook the beauty around us in the ordinary course of life.

I found a poet's quote for today that sort of fit into what I am saying...

"For sure I once thought of myself as the poet who would save the ordinary from oblivion." ~ Philip Levine

When I saw this quote, I thought that perhaps Levine was on to something. I have always found poetry about the simplest things to be so enjoyable. If we can find ourselves within the ordinary, certainly the objective of saving the ordinary from oblivion is a noble cause for any poet to take on.


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