Thursday, March 19, 2020

Poetry Friday -- That Unexpected Something


Photo via Unsplash


Not silence, but close:
No noise wafts from the freeway
Just the trees dripping


©Mary Lee Hahn


Ron Padgett has a poem, "Advice to Young Writers." In it, he advises writers to "find/that unexpected something..." 

When I think back on the day today, my unexpected something has to be the silence this morning as I walked in the dark. Usually, I can hear traffic on the nearby freeway. Not today. Usually, there are lots of cars on the street -- early birds heading to work. Not today. Today, the unexpected extraordinary thing was the silence. All I could hear were the trees dripping from yesterday's delugenous (my invented word) rains.

Be sure to follow the link to Padgett's poem. You'll see that he's got more to say on the subject, and the ending might make you snort, so put your tea down.

Michelle Kogan has the First Full Day of Spring Poetry Friday Roundup today. No matter what, Happy Spring!


19 comments:

  1. This one kind of hit me in the gut, Mary Ann. Especially the final line. The beauty of near silence and dripping water only heard because of the pandemic. Wow.

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  2. What a prompt! I will ponder what was unexpected in my day...I think it must have been that when I went to buy a roll of masking tape at the grocery store, the office supplies aisle was cleared out. Office supplies? I know strange times....but office supplies!

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  3. I hope you and yours are safe and sound.

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  4. Love the image, it suits your poem well. These are scary and strange times–but we have the trees and nature to help us find that "unexpected something." Thanks for the link and your succinct poem Mary Lee.

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  5. I know this feeling. It's what defines flood season - when the road is cut and mornings hum with silence. Take care, Mary Lee - and take joy in quiet moments.

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  6. Yes, I am near a busy street that hums in the am when I go out, but not lately! But I did see a chickadee snacking on nearby bushes yesterday, no alarm there! Best to you, Mary Lee during this tough time.

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  7. There are so many unexpected things these days. That silence can be powerful, especially after its absence. Your poem reminds me of the feeling I had looking at the sky after 9-11 and realizing I had seldom seen the sky with no jet trails.

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  8. I think we're all hearing an eerie silence these days. Love your poem and Padgett's -- that unexpected thing we discover each day might be the very thing that carries us through.

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  9. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing that moment.

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  10. Just the trees dripping...lovely. My walk was different this morning because I went out later than usual and many of my neighbors were out walking, too. It was good to see them and visit some. Outside and at a distance, of course.

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  11. This haiku is a sign of the times. Bullseye.

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  12. Thanks for this haiku and Padgett Poem. I notice many more sounds in the quiet that were overlooked before. Maybe this is one of my unexpecteds.

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  13. I think the silence is hard to ponder since it signifies a new way of life. In these cases, like you, we hear noises that we don't usually hear. Your trees dripping create an eerie sound that soon will become the norm as less people go out. Darkness is in the sky most days now. Thank you for the Padgett poem also. I'm off to find the unexpected tomorrow morning.

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  14. So much of so little, these days. I am glad that you could hear what was not there, to find an eddy in the torrent.

    Thank you.

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  15. Yes, the rhythms of life around us have changed because of our new reality. Your poem captures what's missing and what must have been there all along, Mary Lee. Nice. :)

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  16. The dripping, the slow steady drops of news and change and love and heroism that keep coming every day to break the near silence at home. Glad to think of you out there walking in the early dark.

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  17. The almost-silence you write about reminds me of the empty, blue skies just after 9-11. (Great invented word! I love it.)

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  18. Oh I can hear your trees dripping in that unexpected silence--wonderful image.

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  19. A worthy share, Mary Lee - thank you! The silence in our little downtown has made me sad in these recent days. Fewer contrails in the sky, as well, though our Marines are still flying above - around here the saying goes it isn't 'noise' but 'the sound of freedom'. I enjoy the unexpected peacefulness to an extent, but the cause makes the quiet more unnerving than calm. Stay safe and well!

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