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Sixth Blogoversary

February 3, 2014

Today Necromancy Never Pays is six years old, which of course makes me think of A.A. Milne’s “Now We Are Six” and what I interpret as a caution against getting too cocky about having done anything for six years in a row:

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new

When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more

When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever;

So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever

In honor of the blogoversary, I will take requests for poems you’d like to see reprinted and discussed. Do you have a favorite? One that’s always puzzled you? A children’s or nonsense poem you defy me to wring some meaning out of?

Put it in the comments and I’ll give it a try.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2014 8:37 am

    No poem request (which I’m sure does not shock you), but I did quote this Milne poem to my granddaughter for her sixth birthday.

    • February 3, 2014 10:18 am

      I hope she liked the “clever as clever” line!

  2. February 3, 2014 9:19 am

    Why doesn’t everyone invoke Milne on their 6th? I sure did.

    My request for a poem to discuss (you can’t really reprint it) is Robert Browning’s The Ring and the Book.

    Happy birthday!

    • February 3, 2014 10:20 am

      Tom, my fate is to forever follow and imitate you. It’s the most sincere form of flattery.
      The Ring and the Book will be a good project…you’re going to have to give me a couple of months to re-acquaint myself and then yes! What a pleasure!

      • February 3, 2014 10:32 am

        I was half joking about the Browning – but only half! I am going to read it myself, soon, I insist, I hope.

        • February 3, 2014 10:50 am

          Perhaps instead of imitating you this time, I should talk to you about a particular aspect that I want to address. Look for an e-mail from me in March!

  3. February 3, 2014 9:25 am

    Happy Blogoversary! a poem that puzzles me? Hmm…The Wasteland most likely…I lose my focus in this poem every time.

    • February 3, 2014 10:23 am

      Isn’t part of the point of The Wasteland that you lose your focus? One minute you’re lost in contemplation of the change of Philomel and the next you’re repeating “what is that noise?” That’s how I’ve read it before.
      I’ll gladly read it again and think more about it.

  4. February 3, 2014 12:30 pm

    Poetry is not really my thing, so I will just say Happy Blogiversary!

    • February 4, 2014 2:47 pm

      Thanks! One day I’ll find a poem about postcards or cats or something else you love that could change your mind…

  5. Jenny permalink
    February 3, 2014 3:01 pm

    Can I offer two poems for discussion? I wrestle with Roethke’s poetry, and the contrasting imagery of the inner self, or the soul, found in “Journey Into the Interior” and “She” interests me a lot. Is it the difference between loneliness and union? Or between someone else and himself? Or what?

    • Jenny permalink
      February 3, 2014 3:01 pm

      Oh, and for heaven’s sake, happy blogoversary. I’m so glad you’re around.

      • February 4, 2014 2:49 pm

        Thanks! I’ll look at those two Roethke poems and ponder.

  6. February 3, 2014 7:48 pm

    AURORA LEIGH. Have you ever talked about Aurora Leigh? Is Aurora Leigh your thing at all? I crazy love Aurora Leigh.

    Happy, happy, happy bloggy birthday. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I am happy you are around.

    • February 4, 2014 2:50 pm

      Oh, thank you! I have never talked about Aurora Leigh and would be very happy to do it!

  7. February 3, 2014 9:31 pm

    Happy blogoversary! Everything you write here makes me think about something in a way I have not thought about it before. Thank you.

    I love Milne. My (2.5yo) daughter was running around quoting “Market Square” yesterday, which made me inordinately proud.

    Maybe you can tell me how to read poetry? I love a lot of it — PK Page, I love, and Michael Ondaatje, and TS Eliot, and many many children’s poets (Silverstein, Yolen, Prelutsky, and on and on) but I am always confused when I pick up a volume of poetry. Do I read it all the way through? Do I cherry-pick? Should I read an entire long-form poem in one sitting? Can I take a break halfway through The Wasteland? I am always kind of concerned that I am Doing It Wrong, even though I know there really can’t be a Wrong…

    • February 4, 2014 2:53 pm

      I don’t think you can do it wrong. And like I tell my Writing Center students about ways to respond to writing, I think you do it better if you vary your style often. Sometimes it’s good to cherry-pick a couple of favorite poems from a volume and read only those two carefully (and by carefully, I usually mean in a circle, until you feel like you understand something or have felt that feeling before in your own life).
      Of course you can take a break halfway through The Wasteland. But then you might have to read the first half again because you lost the train of thought. What’s wrong with that? (Assuming–wrongly, for the mother of a 2-1/2 year old–that you have enough time!)

  8. February 4, 2014 1:45 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! Six years is a formidable achievement. I’m so very glad I have discovered your blog, and through it, many gorgeous poems. My knowledge of poetry is woeful, but if I stick around here longer, you never know, it may improve! 🙂

    • February 4, 2014 2:57 pm

      If you think some of the poems are gorgeous, I’m happy. That’s the main fun of blogging, for me, sharing those little bits of mental wallpaper when they come up in the course of daily life. After six years, I don’t write about a poem like Musee des Beaux Arts when it comes up, because I’ve written about it before. That doesn’t stop it from continuing to come up. The discipline of needing to write about something is leading me to keep looking for new things, so the room gets bigger as the wallpaper expands.

  9. February 5, 2014 8:43 am

    Happy Blogiversary! I am trying to think of a good poem to pick, but I am at a blank because the ice has frozen my brain this morning.

    • February 10, 2014 4:34 pm

      Anytime you think of one, you can come back here and let me know. There is a little bit of a line to get to everyone’s poems, so you’ve got time.

  10. February 5, 2014 9:23 am

    Happy blogiversary! I love that poem but whoever I quote it to has never heard of it so it’s nice to see it! Besides the most famous poems my knowledge is too little to make a good suggestion.

    • February 10, 2014 4:35 pm

      Never heard of it?!!! Well! Sometimes I think more than half my allusions are to Milne.

  11. February 5, 2014 4:29 pm

    Happy six years! I hope there are many more to come!

  12. February 5, 2014 8:05 pm

    Happy blogiversary!

  13. February 5, 2014 9:49 pm

    Happy blogiversary! Do you have a favorite Dickinson poem? She’s always been a favorite of mine.

  14. freshhell permalink
    February 6, 2014 12:44 pm

    Well, I can’t offer a poem either but perhaps you’d like to try your hand at some Shel Silverstein? I am reading a lot of his poems to Red lately.

  15. February 16, 2014 10:15 am

    Happy anniversary, a little late.

    I suggest something from Songs of Innocence and Experience by Blake or the one about the boat by Rimbaud. That one is really good.

  16. February 20, 2014 10:59 am

    Happy blogiversary! I’ve always struggled with poetry, but it’s something I have worked to read more of to expand my horizons!

    • February 20, 2014 11:04 am

      It can be good to struggle with poetry, or to engage with it any way you can!


  1. Tell all the truth but tell it slant | Necromancy Never Pays
  2. Shel Silverstein | Necromancy Never Pays
  3. The Waste Land | Necromancy Never Pays

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