Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poetry Quote of the Day: Madeleine L'Engle (and an early Poem in my Pocket for Poetry Friday from Julie Larios)

(This post is also my Poetry Friday contribution. Happy early PF!)

Today's quote, the last of the month, comes from Madeleine L'Engle's book, Walking On Water. Here she's talking about the creative act, and she makes it clear before this excerpt that she's talking about all artists: the painters, the dancers, the musicians, the actors, the novelists, the poets . . .

"The artist, like the child, is a good believer. The depth and strength of the belief is reflected in the the work; if the artist does not believe, then no one else will; no amount of technique will make the responder see truth in something the artist knows to be phony."

Amen to that, and thank you all for indulging me in this month-long search for poetry quotes that embodied that "depth and strength of belief."  You can find all the quotes by clicking through my April archives in the sidebar, or by searching on the tag, Quotes. 

Today is also Poem in Your Pocket day, and I'm carrying Julie Larios's poem, What Bee Did. The wordplay in it delights me, and I'm glad to have it buzzing in my pocket. As I mentioned yesterday, I picked this poem before I realized that Julie had written it.  Julie is a regular participant in Poetry Fridays and blogs at The Drift Record, one of my favorite places to be inspired. The Madeleine L'Engle quote helps me understand why this poem works --- I believe in the Bee, in all his incarnations. And it doesn't hurt that I adore the line about belief in it. (You'll have to click through to find it.) 

The poem begins like this . . .

What Bee Did
by Julie Larios

Bee not only buzzed.
When swatted at, Bee deviled,
Bee smirched. And when fuddled,
like many of us, Bee labored, Bee reaved.
He behaved as well as any Bee can have.

This post marks the end of my Poetry Quote a Day series for National Poetry Month.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Maya Ganesan at Allegro.


  1. I, too, Bee lieve.
    I love that.

  2. I love that, too! It's bee-dazzling, and I've loved your poetry-quote series a whole, whole lot.

  3. What a fabulous poem for Poem in Your Pocket Day! Love the word play.

    Thanks for all the marvelous quotes you bee stowed on us this month :D.

  4. Buzzing with poetry! :)

    I'm carrying around Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson. It wraps up my month-long series of hope posts, but hope, such true and good hope, is something I think about and believe in every day. Hope is a big part of who I am.

  5. What a BEEautiful poem!
    I love the variety of verbs she uses!

  6. Love this poem, both the sounds and imagery it conjures up.

  7. i stumbled onto julie's poem in a collection a while back while i was in a bookstore and laughed out loud.

    the funny thing was that i didn't read her name until afterward, but before i saw it thought "that sounds like julie larios" having the good fortune of hearing her speak every six months when i check in at school. it's so her voice all around.

    anyway, happy post-poem in your pocket day (i carried around some twitku of my own).

  8. What a great, fun poem! Great quote from L'Engle, too.

    I'll leave you with one of my favorite Madeleine L'Engle quotes:

    "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."


  9. J. Patrick Lewis5/1/09, 10:50 AM

    Julie's poem belongs in the pantheon of Clever Wordplay.

  10. Thanks for posting Julie's bee attitude of a poem. I loved it!

  11. Perfect quote paired with the perfect poem on a blog whose third, stabilizing, balancing leg is "believe."

  12. You're right, Mary Lee. Funny that I needed a reminder of that! I'm adding a "believe" tag to this post just for you. :)

  13. Great poem and great quote for the changing from April to May. I've enjoyed your posts all month. Thanks for sharing all these inspiring thoughts. Happy May!

  14. Bee and I are honored to have been your Poem-in-a-Pocket choice, Sara! I feel...well, what's opposite of bee littled -
    bee bigged?

    Here is a favorite quotation of mine: "Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat ... where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches."
    Ursula Le Guin


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