Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Day

Poet Joel Oppenheimer celebrated so many holidays for so many different reasons I couldn't keep count of them. Groundhog Day was his favorite. It was the first day in winter Joel permitted himself to think of spring, shadow or not. I think of him every Groundhog Day (& many other days, sometimes wondering if that day was one of Joel's holidays). I remember lines from a poem he wrote in memory of Charles Reznikoff:

 "but he died not seeing this year
 he died in winter after many springs
 but every spring he saw we see still
every spring he saw we see still"

Which is, basically, what poets want us to see when they are gone, no matter what else they have tried to show us.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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