Casual Palaver

Episode 2 - Why Poetry?

September 30, 2020 Cody Kaufmann Season 1 Episode 2
Casual Palaver
Episode 2 - Why Poetry?
Casual Palaver
Episode 2 - Why Poetry?
Sep 30, 2020 Season 1 Episode 2
Cody Kaufmann

On this episode of the Poetry Piper I begin to answer the question, why poetry.  I also help you get to know me a little better by sharing about my life and family.  Thanks for listening and don’t forget to give me a rating and follow me on instagram at poetrypiper.  

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of the Poetry Piper I begin to answer the question, why poetry.  I also help you get to know me a little better by sharing about my life and family.  Thanks for listening and don’t forget to give me a rating and follow me on instagram at poetrypiper.  

Welcome back to the Poetry Piper Podcast I am Cody Kaufmann, so glad you are here.  If you missed the first episode on why pipes please go have a listen and do me a huge favor.  Go rate the podcast and leave a comment letting me know what you like and/or any suggestions for future episodes.  If you leave something funny, interesting, inspiring or otherwise worthy of sharing I’ll make sure to read it on a future episode.  Also make sure you go follow on instagram at poetrypiper for some visual content on the podcast episodes.  Also, you can reach out to me there for contact.  I am working on getting the audio quality a little better as I wasn’t super happy with how the first episode sounded so hopefully this is a bit of an improvement.  

I was thinking this week about what makes a TV show or movie worth sticking around for or memorable and it’s obviously the Characters.  We recently started rewatching a sitcom which brought this thought to my mind because you find yourself connected to the Character to such an extent that in your own life you start thinking, “How would this person or that person react to this?” The scenery of a show, the action, the content, and the story are all important but if you don’t connect with and know the characters then you won’t stick around long.  So with that in mind I guess you need to connect and get to know this character so I can keep you around.  Not at all that I am worthy to be known but rather I don’t desire to be just a voice.  We have begun to build a small community of people seeking truth and beauty and goodness, at least that’s the goal, and in order to do that properly Character development is crucial.  So get out a pen and here is my address and phone number.... Full of jokes.  But for real.  Hi, my name is Cody Kaufmann and I am married to literally the best woman in the world.  We have 4 kids, ages 8 to 14 and we live on a small farm in central Texas.  We have Chickens, and ducks with a little pond for them to swim in, and rabbits which are both pets and food, and a dog who is a pet but most certainly not food.  We have a number a beautiful gardens which are the labor of my wife’s love for nature and possibly for feeding us.  My wife also just this year, fulfilled a years long dream of starting a Charlotte Mason Home School Co-op.  We have about 35 kids in total now that take part in weekly activities so a big shout out to all the families who I hope are listening!  So that’s me and my family.. at least that’s all you are getting for now.  I mean, I can’t give it all away for free right out of the gate.... I do want you to keep coming back.  

So on this episode I want to begin answering the question why poetry.  This should be considered a primer of sorts as I can confirm that I will have a guest on the show in the coming weeks where we will dive into this subject a little further.  Still working out those details and I will update you all on that soon but this will get you thinking in that direction.  

Why poetry is a fair enough question after all it can be difficult to read and a chore, at least at first, to fully understand the content.  Isn’t there easier but still enriching things to read?  The answer is probably yes but poetry, without question, is in a class of its own.  It is enriching, musical, and emotional unlike any other art form.  It harnesses language, that which distinguishes humans from everything else, and in doing so can freeze time and emotion to be delivered into the heart and mind across continents and generations.  It is human expression in its purest form, with words.  

Poetry is also an art long forgotten but desperately needed.  Like I mentioned with regards to the tobacco pipe perhaps what is needed most in our world today is for all of us to stop, slow down, notice the world around without distraction from politics, media, and to do lists.  Labor over the heart of another poured out through ink on a page.  Embrace the silence, sit with a mystery.  Enjoy the rhythm of words even if it doesn’t always make sense at first because it will.  With patience and persistence it will all make sense.  I think we need poetry and it’s why I’m passionate about it.  

I want to read to you the poem that perhaps opened the door to this world for me and I hope it will do the same for you.  This poem is called surprised by Joy by William Wordsworth.  

A quick history of Wordsworth that you might find relevant.  Both of his parents died when he was quite young and his was sent of as an orphan to a grammar school in the Lake District of Northern England.  It was there that he received his education in literature but perhaps more importantly is was where he received his inspiration.  Do a google search of Englands Lake District and it’s a wonder how one could not be a pastoral poet growing up in such a place.  Shortly after he was married in 1802 he and his wife began having children which were the start of the most difficult years of his life, in fact of anyone’s life.  In just a matter of a few years he experienced the death of two of his children, his brother was drowned at sea and his sister had a mental breakdown.  It is this state of despair that is the basis of this poem.  If you have ever lost someone very close to you I am certain you have had this experience that Wordsworth describes. Something happens or you think of something and your immediate thought is Oh, I have to tell you about this only to quickly realize the one with which you are longing to share it with is gone.  You feel the guilt of even for a moment forgetting your loss.  “How could I possibly be happy when your gone”. It seems as though that pain of remembrance is worse than the pain of loss but ultimately we must all face the conclusion that whom ever we have lost can not, in this life, be restored.  You might be asking at this point how can such a sad and depressing poem be the one in which drew me into to poetry and I’ll get to that but I want to read the poem and then I have a few closing thoughts.  Here is Surprised by Joy by William Wordsworth.  

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind 

I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom 

But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb, 

That spot which no vicissitude can find? 

Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— 

But how could I forget thee?—Through what power, 

Even for the least division of an hour, 

Have I been so beguiled as to be blind 

To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return 

Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, 

Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, 

Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more; 

That neither present time, nor years unborn 

Could to my sight that heavenly face restore

Wordsworth leaves it in that state of despair.  I assume that if you have ever lost someone close it feels as though that is where it will always stay.  What can I do? How do I go on? Do I just sit with the sorrow of your memory?  These are all real questions of which no person can resolve for others so it must be left there.  The answers are not his to tell but yours to find.  And in fact for many on this side of eternity we don’t get these answers.  Sit with those raw emotions,  feel the weight and then use that emotion to drive you towards compassion and empathy.  As I spend time with this poem that I come back to on almost a weekly basis I am usually left in tears thinking oh that Wordsworth were still alive so that I could hug him but the truth is there are Wordsworth’s in all our lives, that is people that so desperately need compassion and hand to hold.  I think it was this realization coupled with the raw emotions that leapt from the page that hooked me.  Wordsworth was my gateway as I hope he will be yours too. I can not, however answer for you all the questions I mentioned, hope in the midst of loss, joy in trials, no, these are treasures I can not give but must be found by the one who seeks them.  I do have the map though... Join me next week as we seek these as well as many other treasures and until then. Read a poem, smoke a pipe, and hug the ones you love.  Have a good week.