“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
~ W.B. Yeats
We gathered through the mysterious machinations of the web to talk about magic. A theme that emerged again and again was how magic seemed to be most at home in the ordinary: in everyday language and ideas presented clearly; and in the sonic spells of music cast through a jukebox, an mp3 or streamed through the cloud.
We were also reminded of nature’s power to transport and transform us, a place where our minds are free and where time seems to behave differently. The power of being named can conjure strong feelings of acknowledgement.
Of course, life is not always magic. Austin Kleon put it simply: The ordinary + extra attention = the extraordinary. This notion reminded me of Ada Limón speaking of poetry as the “religion of paying attention”.
Next time’s theme is “Science” and will take place via Zoom Feb 22nd.
A list of the poems we read
I’ve added some links where I could to the poems, poets or books if you would like to explore.
Magic Words after Nalungiaq (an Inuit poem, translated by Edward Field)
Magic Music by Merrill Heubach (A Spot of Poetry member)
Schloss Steinau, Hesse, Germany by Ruth Daniell
daughters and homage to my hips by Lucille Clifton
The Song of Wandering Aengus by William Butler Yeats
Listen to the BBC’s In Our Time: Yeats and Mysticism
Calm by Zach Beach
Magic by Louis Untermeyer
Snowed In by Bill Traill
Leonard Cohen got several honorary mentions.
Listen to Anthem: “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”
Listen to God is Alive, Magic is Afoot
BrainPickings has a lovely article on Cohen’s thoughts on democracy and its redemptions.
Paul Levy writes about the quantum (magical) nature of reality as it relates to the creative process.
In light of our conversation about language, I came across this article:
5 Languages that could change the way you see the world.
Poetry reading & writing prompt for next week
When we meet again, bring along poems inspired by the theme. There is no obligation to write, but if you feel inspired, you are welcome to bring your poem to share at the next gathering.