A love poem

I kind of hate the month of April, which is mean to say for a few reasons. (Sorry to my brother, who celebrates his birthday this month, and my brand new nephew, just born last night!) I'm just not a spring type of gal, what with the thick air and rain boots and wildly inconsistent temperatures. Also, flowers. What are those about? (Okay, just kidding about that last part. Look at those flowers I found in London last week! Breathtaking. Of course, they're like a month ahead of us, season-wise, so don't get any ideas, East Coasters.) But there is one thing I adore about April. It's National Poetry Month.

I love, love, love poetry.

One day in college I was assigned "Spring Azures" by Mary Oliver. It was fall, and I was curled up on a couch plowing through my work with russet-colored leaves twirling around the windowsill and witches and spiders adorning my walls (it was Halloween, obvs) and I opened up that Oliver poem and read it out loud (it's what I do with poetry) and I started crying, completely unexpectedly. (I just remembered I talked about that here. Geez, Morg. Diversify.) It remains my favorite poem of all time.

Second place, though, is vastly different from Oliver in both theme and style: WH Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts." The poem was inspired by Brueghel's "Fall of Icarus" but I don't even think you need to see that painting to get it; I think you just need to pause over those final five lines and let them seduce you; linger over them for a while and think about humanity. I don't even care if that sounds pretentious. It's what you need to do.

One year I was leading the poetry workshop for Girls Write Now and we were teaching sestinas and villanelles and I found myself falling in love with "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop and Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song," and so many others, so many unexpected others, and spent months afterwards starting and stopping my own until I finally landed on one I was okay with. There's something really freeing in all that structure.

There are others who've made big dents in me. Margaret Atwood. Seamus Heaney. Dorothy Parker. Edna St Vincent Millay. Langston Hughes. My point is, poetry is super. If you're not a reader of it, why not try? April is the perfect month, after all.

"That's offensive to pizza, and to women!"

Earlier this week my amazing friends M and V hosted a dinner party. Lavendar goat cheese...brie...blackberries...honey...LOVE

After the requisite catching up (which took quite a while, as the five of us in attendance hadn't been together in months), and over many bottles of Reisling (me and M) and cab (the others), and after swooning over the amazing meal M made for us (note the cannabilized cheese tray in the second picture), somehow I got to telling stories about my grandmother, Dottie.

I'm writing a story for a local beach magazine and I needed some fodder, so one day over the holidays I interviewed Dottie. It's funny how little we actually know family members even just one generation removed; I know the basics of her life, mostly, but as she sat there one late afternoon, recounting adventures I'd never imagined, I was flummoxed at how much I didn't know about her.

I was laughing as I told some of her funny stories at the dinner party, but I was mostly proud: I come from her, in part, and now her stories are part of my stories, which in turn are now part of my friends' stories; hopefully, probably, they will remember them too, set to a backdrop of wine and organic chicken and a kitchen table in Williamsburg.

Just this morning, I told M that I was "sending Light around her," which is what the characters in Atwood's The Year of the Flood say, and I think it's so lovely and represenative of how I often do think of people I care about, even though Atwood was probably making some sort of sociological comment on the lives of those characters who used that terminology (I'm only midway through the book so I can't say for sure yet, but by the way, HOLY AMAZING BOOK, PEGGY), and I'm only saying all of this because I love M and V and the rest of the dinner party, so it seemed to fit.

*Shout-out to V for giving me the title of this blog entry. She was talking about Dominos Pizza and their new ad campaign. Relatedly, she is a pizza fanatic.

Today in "Things I Can't Get Enough Of"

My new couch. And Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers.

You guys, seriously. I LOVED her debut, Cracked Up To Be, so obviously I was psyched for her newest book, Some Girls Are.

It did not disappoint. But be warned: sweaty palms, churning stomach, and the constant need to place your palm over the bottom half of each page (what? Am I the only one whose eyes sometimes skip down to the end of a chapter when I'm so damn eager to see what's going to happen?) all await you.

You know what? Some Girls Are is like Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye, except updated, and wo-ow.