Sunday, January 28, 2007

Happy Birthday E!

You're the Top (Excerpts from)

At words poetic
I'm so pathetic
That I always have found it best
Instead of getting them off my chest,
To let 'em rest, unexpressed.
I hate paradin'
My serenadin'
As I'll probably miss a bar.
So if this ditty
Is not so pretty,
At least it will tell you how great you are.

You're the top.
You're the Coliseum.
You're the Top.
You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss.
You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet, you're Mickey Mouse!
You're the Nile
You're the Tower of Pisa.
You're the smile
On the Mona Lisa.
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop!
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top.

You're the top.
You're a silver dollar.
You're the top.
You're an Arrow collar.
You're the nimble tread on the feet of Fred Astaire.
You're an O'Neill drama, you're Whistler's mama, your Camembert.
You're the pearl
That the divers fetch up.
Milton Berle
And tomato ketchup.
I'm a toy balloon that's fated soon to pop.
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top!

You're the top.
You're a new invention.
You're the top.
You're the fourth dimension.
You're the purple light of a summer night in Spain.
You're the National Gallery, your Garbo's Salary, you're cellophane.
You're romance.
You're the steppes of Russia.
I'm a broken doll, a folderol, a flop!
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top!

- Cole Porter

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

actually you could...

vote for me. Frankly, I feel uncomfortable asking, but just this once... Here’s the deal.

A few months ago a poem I wrote was published by Infuze Magazine. Every year they also put out a book of the best poems and stories published in the previous year. The long list of the best of 2006 is up here and my poem – well it made the list. So now if enough readers vote for it - it makes it into the book. So, as I say, if you like, you could vote.

To view the competition, type the title of the piece and author in the search box on the top right of the voting page.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Calling Christian Poets

It’s time to get a move on. Take out and dust off those old unpublished poems or write some new ones and get them into the 2007 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest!

Truly, this contest has one of the richest prizes of poetry contests anywhere (not to speak of contests for Christian poets) and with the number of entries apparently down this year, you have a better chance than ever to walk away with some of that cash.

But there’s no time to dally. Entries must be postmarked February 28, 2007.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A dose of poetry

Has it ever struck you how many poems are written around the subject of illness? Many are by doctors. It seems in the last weeks I’m finding them everywhere. Here are some, written from various medical points of view:

“Pandora” by Kelley Jean White is disease and diagnosis seen through the eyes of a medical student. It begins:

Second-year medical student.
An early patient interview
at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Routine hernia repair planned, not done.
Abdomen opened and closed.
Filled with disease, cancer.

Read more

“Cases” by Parker Towle has behind it the experience and authority of the seasoned neurologist.

Man in his late seventies comes in with his wife,
weak, lost twenty-five pounds, can’t eat, hard to talk,
seeing double off and on past eighteen months
been to a family doctor and two specalists.

Read more

The Poetry Ward” is an essay by Danielle Ofri, a physician instructor at Bellevue Hospital in New York. In it she explains how she dispenses poetry along with medical wisdom to the interns, residents and medical students she supervises.

A poem she refers to in the piece is "Gaudeamus Igitur" by Dr. John Stone, parts of which are often quoted at medical school graduation ceremonies:

...For this is the day you know too little
against the day when you will know too much
for you will be invincible
and vulnerable in the same breath
which is the breath of your patients...

Finally, not to leave out the patient, most of us will relate to Diane Lockward’s “You Should Avoid Doctors”:

Because they find something you don’t
want. That’s their job, finding trouble. They impose
music you’d never choose, a paper gown, a cold room ...

Read more

(Guess where I'm going this afternoon.)