". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Found Poem

In recent days I have posted several "found" items. For those who may not know, a piece of "found" art or literature is one that was not intended as such but is instead a natural product of life. In art it might be an accidental convergence of everyday household objects that create a striking visual image or bespeak something more significant going on beneath the surface. In literature it could be a casually jotted message from one family member to another, an excerpt of a newspaper article, or even a passage from something as mundane as a shopping list or owner's manual. In literature there is an entire genre known as "found" poetry that actually consists of crafted poems masquerading as found ones. William Carlos Williams is one of the best known practitioners, and his poem "This Is Just to Say" a famous example.

Since I have been having fun with the "found" concept on my blog the last day or so, you can imagine my surprise at finding a poem in my email inbox this morning. It was a note from my husband, who has been out of town since Thursday, serving as the musician for a Doxology conference in Schuyler, Nebraska this weekend.

Here's what he sent me (I am reproducing it here with his reluctant permission):

Dearest Cheryl,

I had this thing.
It was called a day.
It was quite beautiful.
Blue sky.
Peaceful prairie.
Vitamin D.
Gentle wind.
Beautiful view.
Time to think.
Space to enjoy.

Only one problem . . .
I couldn't share it with you!
See you tomorrow late (1am).
Love you. Always.

Speaking of finding masterpieces right under one's nose, I dare say that is exactly what I did when I first set my sights on the above poem's author some 25 years ago. I knew from the first moment that we met that here was something different--a one-of-a-kind piece that would be all I would ever need in the art gallery of my life. How very right I was.

I love you always, too, Phillip, and all of us here at the Museum will be glad when that big, cold empty space where you should be is inhabited once again.

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