Peter and I have been upending every poetry book we can lay hands on trying to find a bit to be read at the wedding. We are trying to add something of ourselves into this ordeal, even though most of it has been out of our control. Nothing came of perusing the 'appropriate' anthologies, most of which were worthless. Even if we did find something one of us liked, the other wasn't so keen on it. And so it went.
The problem with poetry (and with well written, thoughtful music ... dylan and van zandt, not aiken and jessica ... hence our inability to find a song to 'first dance' to) is that it is attempting an accurate reflection of life. And in life, as we all know by now, there is always an unmistakable thread of darkness through the most joyful bits. The most beautiful poems we found wound their way around grief and loss. The ones that left this out were hollow and full of pastels. We know what we are embarking on is joyful. And hard. But we don't want to dump cold water on the people who come to celebrate with us.
Enter the venerable Gary Snyder, to the rescue. (I was introduced to him indirectly, while reading Kerouac's Dharma Bums two summers ago.)We went all the way through Turtle Island to no avail, but picked up No Nature this evening at B&N. Thank God for the zen inspired beat poets, trekking through the Sierras with their wool pants and ruck-sacks and scribbled-over notebooks. We read Off The Trail and both knew instantly that it was exactly what we were looking for. Thanks, Gary.
We still wanted *some* kind of William Carlos Williams, as I think his poetry is beautiful and he was Peter's favorite for a long time. So we are adding his three-liner on marriage to the back of the order of service.
:::: Post Script ::::
I saw Anne Lamott's name on the AWAD mailing a few days ago and I wanted to give her a shout out for making it into Anu's Ending Quote.
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
-Anne Lamott (1954- )