from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Friday, 4 January 2013

soup and the sublime

I'm in the throes of preparing a poetry workshop right now for tomorrow on the shadow in Jungian thought, the sublime in art, the via negativa and Keats' negative capability. (I know, I know – I don't know why I do this to myself either.) And it won't be anything like as grand as those tags suggest. Am simultaneously stirring a butternut and sweet potato soup (synchronicity Roz!), and waiting for quite an important call from my daughter. 2013 has started with a blast of the winds of change... more anon.

But anyway, because of all that, here's a little thing for you – a really lovely short piece by Adrienne Rich, she who said that poetry can save your life:

Freedom. It isn't once, to walk out
under the Milky Way, feeling the rivers
of light, the fields of dark –
freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine
remembering. Putting together, inch by inch
the starry worlds. From all the lost collections.

Adrienne Rich, 1979


  1. Brilliant. So important to remember as one (I) dive back into the workaday world.
    Like the sound of the soup.

  2. (from Miriam)

    A time of butternut squash; we too stirred and ate last night, carrots and curry-paste added. Bright orange globes, home-grown, but too cold and wet to grow as many as last year. Made for winter.

    Thanks for the Adrienne Rich – worth remembering when you feel tied up in words and need that necessary distance.


  3. As I can only cope with the mundane right now, let me talk soup: I sautéd onion, a little garlic, squash, carrot and sweet potato in a little olive oil. Once it was all softened, I added a can of coconut milk, a handful of red lentils, two bay leaves (from the megalithic area of Carnac in Brittany from last summer!), some fresh ginger and grated nutmeg and a good slosh of stock and salt and pepper. Am v pleased with myself as it was tasty - The Poets enjoyed it with spelt, garlic and olive bread from the wonderful Common Loaf guys in Totnes market. Mmmm.

    And we watched Il Postino - that wonderful film about the Chilean poet and dissident Pablo Neruda in exile in Sardinia. If you haven't seen it, do. It's very beautiful, inspiring and also sad.

    Oh and we talked about the sublime, metaphor and why pretty does not a poem make...


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