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An End, A Beginning, A Continuation

There is no better way to bid adieu to National Poetry Month
in the U.S. than by remembering one of the English language's
greatest poetic mistresses: Emily Elizabeth Dickinson.
What did she not capture? The spare spirit of Haiku, the
punctuation of breath itself, the depth of sorrow, the delight
of nature, the finer points of philosophy and spirituality.
And, naturally, the essential bond between word, flesh, and spirit.
Her Poem 1263, below, was written between 1873 and 1894.

1263
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry --
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without opress of Toll --
How frugal is the Chariot
that bears the Human soul.

From: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Thomas H. Johnson, Ed.
Little Brown, Boston: 1960. Copyright Mary L. Hampson

For more information on American poetry, visit
the Academy of American Poets

Post comment, Copyright 2006. Ysabel de la Rosa.

What's poetry done for you lately?

Poet Shelia Campbell described poetry as "distilled experience." Poetry can also be an experience that plays a role in one's own distillation of Truth. Even if it is the distillation of just one moment of Truth. A moment of love or of doubt. A moment of fear, courage, confirmation, or, yes, even the unwanted, infinite "moment" of loss. From one poem to another, these moments will change, flowing into and through one another without losing either essence or edge.

The word poem has its roots in the Greek poeima, meaning
"created thing or work." It is the noun form of the verb poiein,
"to make, create." So, let not yourself be fooled into thinking that
poetry is a spectator sport. Neither let yourself be convinced that
poetry is little more than prose rearranged. It is a word-by-word,
line-by-line world, where there exists, as Master Suzuki said,
"nothing extra." A world created and waiting just for you, to read
your way inside and experience…

Poetry Published 2006

Published in Calyx, January 2006
Calyx, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women has published continuously for 30 years, no small feat. I encourage you to visit their web site, sample the excerpts, and subscribe to this publication.

CICADIAN RHYTHM
by Ysabel de la Rosa

That summer sound coming from
one instrumental insect stops me
and all my doing.

I stand by the cabinets, glass in hand, not moving
now, but feeling summer coming in
upon me, recalling how it feels:
to slow my way into a measured walk inside
the oven of an afternoon;
to slip my way shivering into cold bright
aqua waters and rise through the surface,
my self a kind of fountain;
to sip my way to the last of a tall and dewy
glass of ice-studded mint tea, rocking on
a porch, stroked gently by a twilight breeze.

One moment’s frictional song is enough:
just the signal I need to tell me it's
time to end
spring’s high green grace note
and begin
summer’s lower, quieter coda

Copyright, 2006, Ysabel de la Rosa
All rights reserved.

Poems Published 2005

Published in Amherst Review

DARK CHEER
by Ysabel de la Rosa

Buy it. It’s brand new. Wash
your black in it, and your deepest,
ultra-indigo blue. After all,
you want your darks to stay dark,
don’t you?

“Cheer Dark.” Buy it now.
this one more product perfected
to keep protected the dark stuff
of our lives. Cheer, dark.

Had this liquid been invented
by a Salem woman to stay the black
in Puritan robes, she would have been
burned, or locked in stocks. But, oh,
how time changes – us –
and stocks,
and spells,
and
the people walk
and wash
in darkness,
launder black
and bills
while some large someone
becoming something big
curves his mouth into a thin-
lipped grin, raises a
red cut-crystal glass
and says,
“Cheers –
Dark.”

___________________________________

Published in Wisconsin Review


LET US
by Ysabel de la Rosa
for Charo

Let us cut crust from
bread, take the dark
edges away and give our children
sandwiches as soft as their hearts

Let us iron wrinkles from
rumpled fabric, taking care not to
force new creases in

Let us redo the hastily d…