On March 2, 1981
Thirty-two years ago I was sixty pounds heavier than I am today. I lost a lot of that weight on March 23rd when I finally gave birth, but on March 2, I was nesting, adding final touches to the nursery. Back in those days, amniocentesis and tests to determine sex weren’t the norm and I had no scientific proof — but I knew absolutely for sure — I was going to have a boy. I knew it from the very beginning. I had no doubt.
This isn’t my Angel Boy’s birthday tribute; that’ll happen later.
I’m just so very proud of him and all he’s accomplished and it seems like a good day for a couple of poems. Not by me, though.
UC Berkeley hosted an Eco-Poetics Conference last week and my son was invited to participate.
He got his Ph.D. last year from Yale. His dissertation also was due in March — March is an important month — his diss focuses on Goethe, Stifter, and Benjamin. It incorporates his love for nature and philosophy.
The term ecopoetics has become increasingly important to scholars and poets alike. It is certainly a critical moment for the field and practice.
The conference addressed these topics: What is ecopoetics? What representational strategies and sociopolitical commitments might characterize this practice? How might we periodize ecopoetics and situate its modes of cultural production?
My son was lucky enough to meet Robert Hass at the conference. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. He won the 2007 National Book Award and shared the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for the collection Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005.
Enjoy a couple poems by Robert Hass…
warm air make a channel;it moves its own way, like water or the mind,and spills this rain passing over. The Sierras will catch it as last snow
flurries before summer, observed only by the wakened marmots at ten
thousand feet,and we will come across it again as larkspur and penstemon sprouting
along a creek above Sonora Pass next August,
where the snowmelt will have trickled into Dead Man’s Creek and the
creek spilled into the Stanislaus and the Stanislaus into the San Joaquin
and the San Joaquin into the slow salt marshes of the bay.
That’s not the end of it: the gray jays of the mountains eat larkspur seeds,
which cannot propagate otherwise.
To simulate the process, you have to soak gathered seeds all night in the acids of coffee
and then score them gently with a very sharp knife before you plant them
in the garden.
You might use what was left of the coffee we drank in Lisa’s kitchen
There were orange poppies on the table in a clear glass vase, stained
near the bottom to the color of sunrise;
the unstated theme was the blessedness of gathering and the blessing of
it made you glad for beauty like that, casual and intense, lasting as long
as the poppies last.
The Failure of Buffalo to Levitate
Millard Fillmore died here.
His round body is weighted by marble angels
He lies among the great orators of the Iroquois.
Paint does not arrest the tradebook houses
In their elegant decay. They peel
Like lizards in the dying avenues of elm.
Gentle enough, night drifts
Above the yellow bursts of aspen in the park.
Something innocent and reptilian
Suffers here, cumbrously.
The souls of the wives of robber barons
Are imprisoned in the chandeliers.
Happy Birthday to you son! Thank you for sharing the day with us! Poetry is the affirmation of the power of words!
I’ll pass on the nice words, but there’s no way i can have a son who’s 32. NO WAY! 🙂
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
We’ll be celebrating your son’s birthday this year, it’ll be our 27th anniversary of marriage and 28 years to the day we met. Your sons accomplishments are very impressive and I’m thrilled for him and the whole family that gets to enjoy this wonderful achievement. Wonderful. Big hugs, Paulette
Thank you for your kind words, Paulette! He’s interviewing at Stanford, boy, we’d so love to have him close enough to annoy!! Happy Saturday!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 2:57 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Stanford is a great school. My hubby’s parents and brother went there. Wishing him well, and of course you as always!
Fingers crossed!. I’ll pass on the good thoughts and of course, mine to you!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Sorry, clicked too fast…Happy celebration of your own special days! March is def a wonderful month.
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 2:57 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Impressive!! Wonderful! And loved the poetry.
I thought you’d like it, as how you’re MY poet laureate.
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You’re too kind.
i know I am but its still true 🙂
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You are right to be proud of your son–he sounds like a bright, dedicated and hard-working guy.
Thank you! He is all that, but still an annoying child so I know he’s mine for sure!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Roses are red, violets are blue, ecopoetics is cool, and so are you.
I am so sending that to my son right now! How cute!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Sounds like your boy is being very successful in his field!
I am the award winning obnoxiously proud mom! Thank you!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You don’t see much poetry any more…glad it is alive and well. I have a few published, but not my best stuff.
As for Angel Boy or any sons,I thought #1 Son was a boy and I KNEW #2 Son was, even though my doctor was sure they were both girls!
Happy Birthday, Angel Boy!
there’s great poetry all over the blog world, that’s what got me thinking about doing a post when my son told me he met (and hung out with) Robert Hass. I can’t wait til he’s here to bake him his favorite cake!
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Happy Birthday to your son! Love the poetry,also.
I wish I was a poet, but I’m not! My son writes very long things, but not poetry either.
On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 11:00 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Happy Birthday to your son!!
Love the poetry 🙂
I know he’s worked hard for what he has, but there’s always a little luck involved, do you agree? Right place, right time kinda thing…
On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
1981 ! Long time ago, that was when Ronald Reagan became the new president. That was when I was serving army in the National Services. Wish your son a Happy Belated Birthday.
Wow, I am so old! His bday is March 23, and I’ll make sure to tell him, thank you!
On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 8:25 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Wish Angel Boy all the best from Canada! Tell him to keep being smart (like he could stop his brain from working LOL), and to keep making the world a better place. We need more peeps like him. 🙂
We need a couple of generations to fix what’s wrong, that’s for sure! I’ll be cooking and baking for him next week LOL. Right now my smart boy is thinking of what kind of birthday cake he wants me to make for him.
On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 7:25 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You must be so proud of your son, gosh. And how wonderful that he was able to meet Robert Haas.
They had lunch together and walked in one of the native gardens, a def highlight to my son’s visit to UCBerk! And yes, I am an obnoxiously loud and proud mama!
On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo