Tag Archives: poem

Pogonotrophy

In the middle of a rousing pie tasting post Thanksgiving dinner, the boiler in the house decided to call it quits. It appears to have disintegrated instantaneously and is now a pile of rusty dust in the cellar. I have created a replacement boiler from leftover parts from the flying machine, but it will only hold for a few more weeks.

Thusly, the house has been rather chilly in the winter air. Yesterday’s “wintry mix”, which I believe is a modern meteorologist’s fancy term for “intermittent wet downfall”, exacerbated the bone-chill that has permeated the house. Hot mulled cider was had, and I once again appreciated my penchant for pogonotrophy.

Pogonotrophy is a noun which means, quite simply, the cultivation or growing of a beard.

The word hails from the Greek word pogon for beard  plus trophe  for nourishment, growth. Quite literally, pogonotrophy means beard feeding.

Incidentally, pogonology is the study of beards and pogonotomy is a delightfully fancy word for cutting a beard; shaving.

You’ll notice that many men in colder climes enjoy pogonotrophy, and I must say, my family is full of bearded men, and has been, from time immemorial. Some people consider a beard a sign of virility, and interestingly enough, most giants, gnomes, and satyrs are bearded.

Bubo’s favorite hunting tree has a poem carved in its trunk, and it seems an appropriate verse for today’s discussion:

The bearded man stands outside.

Why do you stand outside, bearded man?

Stay warm, m’dears. If you can, work on that pogonotrophy.

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Satchmo Saved

I thought you dears would enjoy a poem by the dearly missed Ray Bradbury about the dearly missed Louis Armstrong. I found this on the blog The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong.
Satchmo Saved
By Ray Bradbury

They put Louis in a mask
Save him, Lord, they cried, your task
Is save Satchmo’s limbs and lips–
On his Buenos Aires trips
May his windpipe be protected!
Louis Armstrong genuflected,
Said: Now duckin’ ain’t my style,
But this great piano smile
Needs protectin’ so, instead,
Hang that wire-mask on my head;
Save me from the mad crowd’s sin,
Call the Saints and march it in!
So his grin was nicely caged
Mobs might pummel, love-enraged,
But that trumpet-playing mouth
Was protected, North and South
By a baseball catcher’s-mask.
Don’t, said Louis, please don’t ask
Why I sport this wire lid,
Why my munch mouth is hid;
Cause on other Rio trips,
Nice folks tried to steal my lips;
Mobs around, above, beneath,
Longed to ripoff these sweet teeth,
And I feared there might be some
Who might want an inch of gum–
All because those wild folks feel
What old Louis plays ain’t real,
Must be something in his jaw
Sails that Jazz beyond the Law!
So when Satchmo flies a plane,
Rio airport mobs, insane,
Rush to help me off the ship
Then with joy they tear and rip.
Watch out, Louis, no more lip!
In their seething lunge and grip
Louis yells: forget the stretcher!
Lend me mask of baseball-catcher,
Otherwise, no jump, no Jazz,
No mouth, no lip? No razzmatazz!
So with catcher’s mask in place
And a sweet smile on his face,
Louis runs the gauntlet through,
Blowing riffs both hot and blue,
Cuts a rug with quails and hips,
And, in midflight, laughs and quips,
“Grab my Jazz, but leave my lips!”

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Poetry in Motion

The Rain

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

 

By Robert Creeley from Selected Poems of Robert Creeley.

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Thank you, Mr. Leonard Cohen

Only Leonard Cohen could speak about love like this.

 

When I Uncovered Your Body
When I uncovered your body
I thought shadows fell deceptively,
urging memories of perfect rhyme.
I thought I could bestow beauty
like a benediction and that your half-dark flesh
would answer to the prayer.
I thought I understood your face
because I had seen it painted twice
or a hundred times, or kissed it
when it was carved in stone.

With only a breath, a vague turning,
you uncovered shadows
more deftly than I had flesh,
and the real and violent proportions of your body
made obsolete old treaties of excellence,
measures and poems,
and clamoured with a single challenge of personal beauty,
which cannot be interpreted or praised:
it must be met.

Excerpted from FIFTEEN POEMS by Leonard Cohen

 

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