An excellent article on the comedian and actor, Steve Martin, in the
February, ’08 edition of Smithsonian magazine alerted me to the work
it takes to hone the skill, whatever it is, that each of us has. I saw
with new eyes the courage it takes to be before the public in all one’s
That’s just what it is. Until he was ready to find the golden vein of his own
humor, he endured the highs and lows of his unique gift. The courage came
in the many times he simply was not “seen”, times when he was booed off
the stage of small venues in the boondoxes. Moving beyond the anger he
felt was not just an act of courage, it was literally what he HAD to do.
Martin’s own joy in his being is contagious and allows his audience to find
that same joy within themselves.
That said, I share with you this morning a poem that you’ll like:
“THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY
The trouble with poetry, I realized,
as I walked along a beach one night —
cold Florid sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky —
the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.
And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,
and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.
Poetry fill me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.
But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.
And along with that, the longing to steal,
to break into the poems of others
with a flashlight and a ski mask.
And what an unmerry band of thieves we are,
cut-purses, common shoplifters,
I thought to myself
as a cold wave swirled around my feet
and the lighthouse moved its megaphone over the sea,
which is an image I stole directly
from Lawrence Ferlinghetti
to be perfectly honest for a moment —
the bicycling poet of San Francisco
whose little amusement park of a book
I carried in a side pocket of my uniform
up and down the treacherous halls of high school.”
……………. BILLY COLLINS, from his book,
The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems.
You got the connection, thanks.
always with love, Antoinette (aka Mom/Mimi/Toni)