Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Nothing Poem

My daughter, Natalie (age 9), likes to write poems. Here's her version of the last family get-together.

The Nothing Poem
Natalie Gallaher

Here I am there you are but your cousin
is across the room—he looks at me like he’s got
something on his mind, but he doesn’t have a
word to think about with all this music—it has
been a crazy house with all this non-sense.
I’ve journeyed around the room for years, well at
least that’s what I remember from the tigers that
attacked us.


At 4/13/2011 6:35 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

“In the summer of 1953 we crossed the Atlantic back to the US where I, filled with space and light, was no doubt already addicted to travel or at any rate constant address change. My father attended grad school at the University of Washington in Seattle and studied with Theodore Roethke. My mother worked as a nurse to support us, and my father walked me to nursery school every morning, in the orange shadow of Mt. Rainer - we counted the earthworms which were, due to constant rain, always out crossing the sidewalks, and he sang Schubert’s Die Forelle and various German marching songs and Goethe poems. It was on one of these walks that I am said to have composed and recited my first poem (“I see the shining wind / I see the shining cookie up in the tree”—nice rhythm, good parallelism).

- Franz Wright

It appears that you're in for a wild ride, Mr. Gallaher.

At 4/13/2011 6:45 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


At 4/13/2011 8:11 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/13/2011 8:15 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Yes, I can see it now:

Announcing the winner of the 2030 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry...

At 4/13/2011 8:21 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


The Tyger

Tyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

= William Blake

At 4/13/2011 11:17 PM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

That's one hell of a tiger!

At 4/14/2011 2:41 AM, Blogger Delia Psyche said...

"The Nothing Poem" is great. You're her nobodaddy?

I thought of Franz Wright when Fuzz Against Junk said that he wrote poems made entirely of borrowed words--quotations from comic books, etc. I thought, "Right, and when you work that way, you realize that the old distinction you made between words INSIDE your head and words OUTSIDE your head is illusory."

"Because what is outer is inner
there is no outer
there is no inner--" (Franz Wright)

At 4/14/2011 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to set up a pen-pal relationship between Natalie and Saskia, STAT.

At 4/14/2011 11:11 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

This is awesome.

At 4/14/2011 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be bearer of bad news, but Tony Hoagland just posted an esssay to his blog making the case that your daughter is naive about race.


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