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In 2002, I received my autographed copy of POEMS TO READ: A new favorite poem project anthology edited by Robert Pinsky.

Robert Pinsky was hailed as America's poet laureate for three years by an act of congress in Washington D.C.


My commentary on Gerard Manley Hopkins' " Spring and Fall " was published from just 200 commentaries on favorite poems selected from over 25,000 entries.

I submitted my commentary in 1998.


Here is the poem I chose:


Spring and Fall



Margaret are you grieving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Leaves, like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! as the heart grows older

It will come to such sights colder

By and by, nor spare a sigh

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;

And yet you will weep and know why.

Now no matter, child, the name:

Sorrow's springs are the same.

Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed

What heart heard of, ghost gussed:

It is the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.


Here is my commentary on the poem:


It was a strange flash, I was reciting this poem for the umpteenth time when all of a sudden I saw the scenery of my childhood: the old road on the way to the shopping center; my father driving me past a winery, the autumn trees shedding their leaves, the whole thing feeling so alien and remote, yet also very intimate. It was all so long ago. My mother was sick then. She is dead now, and so is my father.


Michael Finberg, 40, writer, California.




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Comments

The following comments are for "With Robert Pinsky at the Summit"
by gamblerman

Robert Pinksy fan
I am a great fan, and I own his collection of translations. Czeslaw Milosz, my favorite.

I was taken by the sheer simplicity and purity found within this submission, "Spring and Fall", more than lovely.

Congratulations that your poem was one of the few chosen among so many.

Best Wishes

( Posted by: wguilddragoness [Member] On: November 3, 2008 )

Thanks....
I shared this post with my TPM blog audience which usually discusses only political stuff. But Barack Obama's grandmother died today one day before his impending election as president.

I thought it was appropriate.

M

( Posted by: gamblerman [Member] On: November 4, 2008 )

An Honor, truly, you should be proud!
Your submission came that close? That is a real honor. It is a beautiful poem. You know I used to be entered in art contests by my teachers in highschool and I was so certain no one would even consider me, but sure enough, I always made it to the atleast 3rd place in state competitions sponsored by various groups and organizations.

In college I would cringe with embarrassment when I my art professors would point out my art work as example of what they were looking for...what the others should be looking for...I would die with all those eyes on me like that, but then suddenly one day, I became a speech writer/fund raiser got in front of an audience and never stopped talking or enjoying the limelight of what I felt passionate about...and YOU, here indeed this is a very prestigious award. To be in the top few out of thousands is something to stand up and say, Hey, I am damn good! Yes, I am. You are, Michael...and please don't give me a humble oh it was nothing or whatever response...I will cover my eyes and go lalalalalala can't read you;-)


You are so multi-talented, Michael. Amazing really, all the things you have done and are doing project wise in the media...and all you traveled and the many you have met.

Very exceptional person you are, Michael...and interesting too, and that is why I am proud to call you my friend, and brother in dharma, though I am still not as compassionate as I strive to be...I will get there..practice, puja, mantra, lama, and good friends to advice me too, best recipe in the world;-)

Again, beautiful poem. Most excellent!

Namaste,
Lena

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: November 4, 2008 )

Well....
false modesty is never good, but I try to not get too high when things are good nor too low when things are bad....

( Posted by: gamblerman [Member] On: November 4, 2008 )





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