Guest poem submitted by Sashidhar Dandamudi:
(Poem #1305) Poem in Thanks
Lord Whoever, thank you for this air I'm about to in- and exhale, this hutch in the woods, the wood for fire, the light-both lamp and the natural stuff of leaf-back, fern, and wing. For the piano, the shovel for ashes, the moth-gnawed blankets, the stone-cold water stone-cold: thank you. Thank you, Lord, coming for to carry me here -- where I'll gnash it out, Lord, where I'll calm and work, Lord, thank you for the goddamn birds singing!
This poem opens Garrison Keillor's (the funny guy who reads poems on NPR and of course hosts "The Praire Home Companion") anthology 'Good Poems'. The section is called "O Lord!". In the preface of this book, Keillor says these poems were chosen for "their wit, their frankness, their passion and their utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with at 7 a.m." He also goes on say that "For writers, it's enough to refer to somebody having written a good poem. Somebody else can worry about greatness." I concur wholly with Keillor's view for this indeed is a good poem. And which I have, since I have read it, passed on to other friends and remembered it on early mornings when I heard "the goddamn birds singing". Also since I personally know Thomas Lux, I would like to share this poem with other Ministrel-ites, as an introduction to a body of work by a deligthful poet and person. Thank you. Sashi. Bio: THOMAS LUX, born in Northampton, Massachusettes in 1946, is a member of the writing faculty and director of the MFA Program in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. In recent years he has been on the graduate faculties of Boston University, the University of California (Irvine), Columbia University, Warren Wilson College, and the Universities of Houston, Iowa, and Michigan. A former Guggenheim Fellow, the recipient of three NEA grants, Lux won the Kingsley Tufts Award for his book of poems, Split Horizon, and has been a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.