Poetry Friday: Somewhere in the World by Linda Pastan

Poetry Friday is here! Link up below to share your poetry fare…

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The world seems a crazy place these days, with each day bringing  new tidings of mayhem and turmoil.  I’ve mostly stopped watching the news, and I’ve left FaceBook entirely because the current political news caught me in a vortex of panic, rage, and helplessness: what is to be done? can anything be done?  I still email and call my Congressmen and Senators every day, hoping that they will live up to the hopes I had when I cast my votes for them.   But I have my doubts…

This poem speaks to the mood I’m in…

Somewhere in the World

by Linda Pastan

 

Somewhere in the world
something is happening
which will make its slow way here.

A cold front will come to destroy
the camellias, or perhaps it will be
a heat wave to scorch them.

A virus will move without passport
or papers to find me as I shake
a hand or kiss a cheek.

Somewhere a small quarrel
has begun, a few overheated words
ignite a conflagration,

and the smell of smoke
is on its way;
the smell of war.

Wherever I go I knock on wood—
on tabletops or tree trunks.
I rinse my hands over and over again;

I scan the newspapers
and invent alarm codes which are not
my husband’s birthdate or my own.

But somewhere something is happening
against which there is no planning, only
those two aging conspirators, Hope and Luck.

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39 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Somewhere in the World by Linda Pastan

  1. Tara, I share a Linda Pastan poem as well this week. I adore her simple and thoughtful poetry. She is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing Somewhere in the World. I love it. In fact, one of Pastan’s poems was a mentor text for me this week. The poem I wrote and shared for Poetry Friday is modeled after her ‘On a Daughter Leaving Home’. Thank you so much for hosting. Enjoy all the lovely new words.

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  2. HA! I decided to share Pastan, too!

    Thanks for hosting the roundup, and happy birthday! The writing in your birthday post was gorgeous! You gave the gift to us, instead of vice versa!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really enjoyed the Linda Pastan poem you shared Tara. An evocative reminder that somewhere in the world (at all times) things are constantly happening, beginning, arising- things ranging from life changing, to barely imperceptible.Change is a constant. The poem serves as a reminder of this phenomenon and that often all we bring is hope and luck. Thought provoking words that assist me to pay closer attention to the things around me… Thank you for hosting this week and may your efforts for change result in meaningful responses from those elected to serve. I share your frustration at the inaction of far too many in high office.

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  4. Your words inspire me – in the face what seems to be such futility, you continue to email and call your elected leaders daily. Bravo! Let’s keep knocking on wood, calling, and hoping.

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  5. Thank you for hosting this week, Tara. Such a thoughtful post, and yet while I can sense your frustration, I really appreciate the poem you shared, bringing hope and other things to consider. How is retirement? 🙂

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  6. Perfect poem for these times. Totally understand why you left FB. Hope and Luck — yes! And Happy Birthday (loved your birthday post too)!

    Thanks for hosting this week.

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  7. Tara…this poem is almost too sad. There are too many holes in the dikes of our world and not enough thumbs to stop the flood. But then those “two aging conspirators” (hooray for the wisdom of those–us–who are aging!) march in a lift me up. Thank you.

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  8. Echoing others here, and nodding my head. Let’s hang onto Hope and Luck! We need them.

    Thanks for hosting this week. I’m sharing a poem that Tabatha wrote for me last summer for the poem swap. It speaks to our times as well, and spoke to my heart.

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  9. Thanks for hosting Tara, your post here and your Birthday post. Living in the city I can see the attraction one has to the gorgeous spot your farm nestles in–it paints a changing picture in front of your eyes. “To want” and “to desire” those are qualities I hope I’ll never loose. Happy Birthday, and thanks for the hope and perhaps a bit of luck here too!

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  10. What a cleverly crafted poem. Thank-you for sharing. I don’t have FB, but I’m spending less and less time on Twitter and seek out good news stories. (But don’t follow other news!) Enjoy the tranquility of your surrounds. Thanks for hosting. 🙂

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  11. Thanks for hosting, Tara! I so miss your teaching voice. I stay on Facebook to keep up with my granddaughter, and now with the looming teaching strike in my district. But I try not to spend too much time there because it really is draining. I love Linda Pastan!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tara, your post really resonated with me today. All too often, I find myself focusing on the unease and growing shadows rather than on hope and luck. I admire your determined efforts to stand up and be heard, and you have me considering what else I can do to push back against those gathering “somewhere” forces. But for today, I’ll try to focus on hope.Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Starting with that beautiful frosted farm glass window, and then moving on to the Pastan poem, you’ve provided a deeply thoughtful place this morning. Hope and Luck are wonderful conspirators! Thank you for hosting.

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  14. This is a new poet for me to investigate. I love it and will save this. I understand the need to leavr FB. I have friends and family who have. I try really hard to not look at the news on it. But I am on less and less.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for hosting, Tara. I, too, have left both Facebook and Instagram. But how grateful I am for friends here. Here is a poem for you. One I am loving this week…. xxxx

    Adrift
    by Mark Nepo

    Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
    This is how the heart makes a duet of
    wonder and grief. The light spraying
    through the lace of the fern is as delicate
    as the fibers of memory forming their web
    around the knot in my throat. The breeze
    makes the birds move from branch to branch
    as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
    in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
    of the next stranger. In the very center, under
    it all, what we have that no one can take
    away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
    It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
    by a holiness that exists inside everything.
    I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My writing has been very sporadic, and I have been away for quite awhile. I did not realize you have a new space! And your new life sounds peacefully and simply beautiful! I will certainly by back!

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  17. Tara, Linda Pastan’s poem gives voice to the unease and sense of foreboding I (and many millions of others) have felt for the past two years. I do appreciate her reminder to hang on to “Hope and Luck,” and it seems like maybe there is a small glimmer on the horizon. Thank you for sharing this today, and for hosting the round up!

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  18. Thanks for hosting, Tara, and for your post today – Pastan’s poetry is always thought-provoking. I’ve had moments where I wondered whether hope and luck were strong enough forces to stand up against whatever’s happening in this country lately (hope and luck both seem to look ahead, while the direction the country is headed is backwards….) Anyway…I also had trouble leaving my link at Inlinkz, so I’ll just say that I posted a poem by Mary Oliver (“A Summer Day”) over at the Drift Record – here’s the link: http://julielarios.blogspot.com/2019/01/poetry-friday-in-middle-of-winter.html

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  19. Linda Pastan’s oh-so-specific anxieties are painfully, almost comically real for me too right now. Hope and Luck seem to be flagging a little–what’s holding up is Love. Thanks so much for hosting, and I’m off to read your well-reviewed birthday post!

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