Friday, July 18, 2008

Expectations, a poem by Kay Ryan.

This week, we have a new poet laureate, Kay Ryan, who was born 62 years ago in San Jose. She joins a distinguished roster of poets laureates, including Robert Frost, Louise Bogan, William Carlos Williams, Robert Lowell and, more recently, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Kumin, Robert Pinsky and Billy Collins.
Ryan went to UCLA, earned a bachelor's and a master's degree there, and moved to Marin County in 1971, becoming a poet somewhat reluctantly. She remembers, "I so didn’t want to be a poet. I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn’t believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me. But in the end I couldn’t resist. It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased ... when I was 30, I realized I wasn't going to avoid being this poet thing."

I think this little poem speaks well to our past winter here in San Diego.


We expect rain

to animate this

creek: these rocks

to harbor gurgles,

these pebbles to

creep downstream

a little, those leaves

to circle in the

eddy, the stains

and gloss of wet.

The bed is ready

but no rain yet.

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