5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival

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I had to go back to this post to find the earliest reference (Reya’s original blog post is lost in the mists) to the now Jan28moonannual Silent Poetry Reading in honor of Brigid (Saint or Goddess, as you prefer). And while the first invitation was for a single day’s blogging event, watching the misty full moon tonight got me thinking of a favorite line from a poem that I want to offer, so I will simply declare that this year’s event has begun!

Life is hard enough; why shouldn’t we take all the full moon weekend leading up to February 2nd to celebrate this patroness of the arts and healing, and read her a poem or two?

For those of you with dormant blogs (ahem, Oak and Pandora!), now would be a great time to dust them off and offer up a poem. And for those of you who are more web-savvy (I’m looking at you, Yvonne and Cat), perhaps there is a way to aggregate everyone’s contributions, so that it is easier to have a glass of wine on Brigid’s feast day and browse through all the great poems.

Update: Yvonne has set up a system: if you post a poem this weekend, go to delicious.com and enter your post url with the tag brighid2010. (Or get a geeky friend to do it for you; it’s not super intuitive.) If you just want to read all the poetry, search for the brighid2010 tag at delicious and all our posts will show up together. Magic!

This is a poem I wrote back in 1990. I remembered it because the last line came back to me tonight, and I still really like it. Here it is.

The Basket
(after John Berryman)

What should I do, evenings, cobwebs
swaying in the rafters and three finely
printed invitations nailed to the

message board? (they quote Neruda, say
Bring the Children, or Softball at the
Reception) But marriage? Why flower

the hair or slip new diamonds through ears,
when the chapels are emptying: vessels
thrown with relief into rivers, small

silver placed in the notches of trees and
bells over arms of sky? The bride’s demure
look is not modesty but ambivalence—notice

the primrose which holds her gaze as he
leads her out of the valley. The day I
ate caviar from your navel and we pulled

each other through the brush to gather
the sweetest berries, I thought you were
a finely feathered basket, serpent-coiled

and watertight. We have been each others’
alibis, laughing as the caterers filled our
plates, saying we were too young to know

better, with the happy couple making the
evil eye behind our backs. Now, three-fingered,
I sit nights mending coil, sedge soaking

in the dish pan. I will make them one with
blue feathers, tell them marriage is not bells
but the basket, and we its constant gleaners.

33 thoughts on “5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival

  1. Chrysalis

    […] I am also realizing that I should probably read Anne’s Hill’s Blog of Gnosis a little more often… “Life is hard enough; why shouldn’t we take all the full moon weekend leading up to February 2nd to celebrate this patroness of the arts and healing, and read her a poem or two?” ~ Anne Hill, in 5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival […]

  2. Stasa Post author

    A great way to aggregate them would be to borrow from what Pax did on Chrysalis for Pagan Values Blogging Month, and aggregate through MetaPagan (via a Digg tag?). Um, you see how well I remember, er… :)

  3. Anne Post author

    Yeah, that’s about the extent of my memory of it too. Hopefully someone can reply here and set the record straight for all of us!

  4. Ronda Laveen Post author

    Mr. Linky is a great way to aggregate. I found you via Reya and will post a blurb on my blog. We use it with Theme Thursday and other group related posts. Everyone who wants to participate, enters their name on Mr. Linky and every one can peruse from there. Unfortunately, I have never set Mr. Linky up via Blogger and so don’t have the mechanics or the time frame. Maybe for next year…

  5. Leaf Post author

    Hi Anne, thanks for this! This will be my first year participating, so I’ll spend the weekend crafting a half-decent poem in honour of Brigid. Whoop!!

  6. Anne Post author

    Yay, Yvonne! Thanks for this. Everyone, post your contributions to delicious.com using the tag brighid2010 and all the poetry will appear in one place. Excellent!

  7. Zann Post author

    Oh yes, thank you for starting this early. As a solitary, I appreciate the opportunity for a group ritual. Looking forward to reading all the offerings. Bright blessings, ‘Zann

  8. libramoon Post author

    Scrying on the Moon

    By sibylline light
    appear images I recognize,
    creviced captures of my life.
    I know her judgment to be my own.

    “Nourished by Moon rivers
    mythical cavern blooms
    unseen by sunlight
    glow green.” Thus she sets the scene;
    becomes the prophecy.

    “Purest white simplicity
    curved to suggest fragility
    faith fed maiden ready for
    plucking,
    given in bondage to womanly woes,
    hard rows to hoe
    for that little bit of hug through
    crying of night.

    Fate of Trojan soldiers, sacrificed to lust.
    Unbended, beg for the boon of drama
    high adventure
    sneaking into sad hotels
    for a fix or a tumble.
    Laughs,
    deadly play,
    danger, a real chance.

    Barefoot in the snow
    icy roads
    winds so strong
    I could not make you hear.
    I thought you were my destiny.
    These thoughts are far from clear;
    but I believed
    song lyrics from somber deities
    would not lie, leave me
    dying, fading into winter’s grey
    drifting clouds,
    endless sorrow endured for naught.
    Lost on this careless corner,
    dreaming of oblivion, intent on visions
    like rain
    tapping against eternity’s
    vast windowpane.
    Scenic serenity.
    Nature’s gradations of green
    soothes tired eyes,
    trembling nerves, throbbing veins.
    Slivers of moonlight reflect
    in withered refrains, unearth secrets
    embedded in song
    effervescing through cool pure air”

    “cleansing the uprising nestling
    set aflame
    resurrected
    tempered mettle,
    pure, wise, tested
    engorged with the will
    to rise”

  9. Poems for A Flame-Haired Snowdrop Woman Post author

    […] Every season a season of poetry, beloveds! But this one especially so. In honor of the 5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival, I offer the poems below – three poems by three poets who have stirred my soul in these past […]

  10. Pingback: Blog o' Gnosis » Blog Archive » A New Poem for Brigid

  11. Hecate Post author

    We’ve been putting up poems all week, on the blog and in comments, at my blog, but here’s my “real” offering for this year. It’s old, and well known, not a bit edgey, but, still, if I could only hear one more poem before giving the ferryman my coin, this is the one I’d choose.

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