Saturday, March 20, 2010

Incredible Retirement Four

It was at least ten years ago, I think, that I asked Marianne if she thought she might be able to get back to her old habit of writing poetry if I took over some of the cooking. This was probably not too long before I actually did succeed to the bread making  and then started up again as a brew master, this time with the skills to make beer from real malted barley grains, not the tin stuff of my youth. (Also with  considerably additional equipment, which is the most essential element of the skills.) MT had put out quite a nice little volume of lyrics before Shawn went to the museum and left her with the household stuff. A few poems had even gone to Rome, once I took over my responsibilities with the central intellects of the Eternal City.
She paused in motion, possibly with a French knife in her hand, from chopping broccoli, and said, "I don't like anyone else mucking about in my kitchen."
I took that as a no, and found my conscience eased. I had every freedom myself from domestic or any other pressures that could prevent me from writing all I wanted to - the mystic's Muse permitting of course, after the necessary concentration on the prayer life - and I had to wonder from time to time if she felt hard done by. She was, it must be said, regularly at work at her journal. But still, prose is not poetry, any more than one very valuable, even essential, friend is not another.
But with the other female contemplative suddenly eased off her public duties to local history and the arts, available for kitchen detail and garden support, MT's poetry stock has risen as sharply as that of any oil mega giant which has discovered how to make gasoline out of offshore breezes. Seven excellent lyrics in seven days, over an admirably broad range, from the meaning of violets to a child, to the odiferous signs of a late bishop in hell.
For the moment, there may be difficulties in finding these illuminative gems. She tells me that her  blog title, "From George", does not quite spark up the swift response readers get from the Ranger, and thus she has to issue information about links to the inside circle. But that will change. Mankind is always in need of clarification, one of the specialties of the real poet, and she certainly clarifies. I know from experience.
As Padre Pio said, and I somewhat expand upon, no man really grows up, not even a priest, until he becomes a spiritual director.
As I understood from the very first sight of her poetry, MT is a primitive, perhaps directly descended from those early painters who drew bulls on the walls of the caves of Lascaux. She deals in images. Sharp, clear, colourful. Like the point of an effing spear going through your gut. To hell with ordinary metre and rhyme. Especially rhyme. It would be interesting to watch her rewrite the Iliad, for example, or perhaps Genesis. No drawing room stuff this, and T.S. Eliot would understand bang on. If she keeps going as she's begun, the entire Church Militant, if it's lucky, will have its very sorry butt, post Vatican Two,  in the confessional long before next Easter. That is, if it reads. At the moment, I have trouble believing that the Church Militant is actually literate.
Never, never, never, underestimate the power of a woman. Especially when she's a close personal friend of the Virgin Mary.

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