Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Rapture

Last night, I drove Henry to the Pacific Palisades -- a twenty mile drive that took about an hour on a Friday night in Los Angeles --  for a baseball game, and no sooner had the boys begun to play then the fog rolled in and it was cancelled. We drove home.

This morning, The Husband informed me that Sophie had wet through the bed -- again -- so I pulled her sheets off, down to the mattress and put them in the wash -- again. I brought her into bed with me and read.

I'm reading a book of poetry called Incarnadine by Mary Szybist and feel enraptured. I wrote an essay of sorts a while back about the effect of a painting called The Annunciation by Fr'a Angelico on me when I visited Florence, Italy. You can read it here. I have copies of the painting everywhere in my house, under the glass top to my desk, on my bookshelves -- it informs me.

Szybists' book of poetry takes the moment when the angel Gabriel announces what the future has in store for the human Mary and uses that to spin poems about paradox of the spirit and the body. The poems are not religious but rapturous. They are sensuous, nearly erotic. One describes the annunciation from the point of view of the grass:

how many moments did it hover before we felt
it was like nothing else, it was not bird
light as mosquito, the aroma of walnut husks
while the girl's knees pressed into us
every spear of us rising, sunlit and coarse
the wild bees murmuring through

It's overcast here in Los Angeles, and there are no baseball games. I'm a woman of leisure with three children on a Saturday, reading poems.


  1. cancelled because of fog? That must have been some wicked fog....

    sounds like a good day to be reading poetry, especially such inspirational work.

  2. Your essay is incredible. It gave me goosebumps. Suddenly I am thinking about Sophie and Joan of Arc. About you in Italy, rapturous. I think you should send this essay out to O magazine.

  3. You're so amazing. That essay blew me away. Now I want a copy of The Annunciation. Maybe I'll find it and also those little saint pictures I showed you. Those things always make me happy, but I never indulge myself by getting them. Sigh...

    Are we doing lunch?

  4. I saw that painting in Florence, too. Lovely! I will go check out your essay next...

    I like that top photo. Mysterious and forbidding...

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for the mention of the poetry, I must look this up!

  6. I love this image of you - the poet in her bed with her daughter, thinking of art and baseball and fog, and reading poetry.



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