"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Monday, April 14, 2014

Many Many Moons

Pink Phlox on our front slope ~ April 2010
A much warmer and sunnier April than we're having so far this year!

Although some may find it hard to believe, neither the Pink Moon nor the Blue Moon is so named after the color of the moon (though I've even heard fact bound Jeopardy perpetuate this erroneous concept). In fact, the April Full Moon is often called the Pink Moon because of the moss pink ground phlox, one of the earliest widespread flowers of the Spring, which makes its appearance at this time.
Pink Moon Phlox

Other names for the April full moon, all referring to new life and regeneration, include the Egg Moon, the Fish Moon, the Planter's Moon, the Seed Moon, the Sprouting Grass Moon, and the Waking Moon. For more information on these nicknames and all the other Full Moon Names, there's always the good old reliable Farmers' Almanac. Plus there are plenty of fun and informative Lunar Blogs on the web.

Coincidentally, tomorrow's Total Lunar Eclipse will lend a pinkish, reddish hue to this year's April moon, inspiring its descriptive nickname: the Blood Moon, not a scientific term but a hugely popular one. I didn't try to photograph the lunar eclipse, but my friend Jay got some great shots:

Here's one of the best full moon poems I know, for a Blood Moon or any other kind, full of folklore and magic. Ancient or post - modern? These fisher - folk could well be either, upon their timeless quest:

Moon Fishing

When the moon was full they came to the water,
some with pitchforks, some with rakes,
some with sieves and ladles,
and one with a silver cup.

And they fished til a traveler passed them and said,
to catch the moon you must let your women
spread their hair on the water --
even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing
net of shimmering threads,
gasp and flop till its silver scales
lie black and still at your feet."

And they fished with the hair of their women
till a traveler passed them and said,
do you think the moon is caught lightly,
with glitter and silk threads?
You must cut out your hearts and bait your hooks
with those dark animals;
what matter you lose your hearts to reel in your dream?"

And they fished with their tight, hot hearts
till a traveler passed them and said,
what good is the moon to a heartless man?
Put back your hearts and get on your knees
and drink as you never have,
until your throats are coated with silver
and your voices ring like bells."

And they fished with their lips and tongues
until the water was gone
and the moon had slipped away
in the soft, bottomless mud.

by Lisel Mueller, American poet, born in Germany, 1924
Pulitzer Prize For Poetry, 1997

Thirst drove me down to the water
where I drank the moon’s reflection.

Rumi (1207 - 1273)
Persian Spiritual Sage

Trying to Capture the Moon

Thanks to Andrea Livingston for sharing this playful lunar collage, which reminded me of the following favorite children's stories that cleverly capture the conundrum of the moon, so close but still so far. How can the moon, so clearly visible to the naked eye, especially when it's full, be further away than England or California or even nearby Chicago, which we certainly can't see from Indiana? That just doesn't seem right!

Margaret Wise Brown -- Goodnight Moon
Gerry and I loved reading this one to Ben and Sam.
When Ben was little, all Gerry or I had to do was get out a copy
of "Goodnight Moon," and Ben would call out, "Nobody!"
(See Aimee Bender, 2014)

Eric Carle --Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
Sometimes the moon is whatever size you need it to be!

James Thurber -- Many Moons
I did not know this book as a child, but loved it in college and
picked a passage from here for an oral interpretation assignment.

Cat Stevens -- Teaser and the Firecat
Love the album & the songs but better yet, the storybook!

See also "Moonshadow," another
Cat Stevens favorite!

Next Fortnightly Post
Monday, April 28th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

1 comment:

  1. Barbara T. from Philadelphia writes: "Kitti, this is amazing. I learn so much from you and marvel at the beauty of the paintings, photographs, memorabilia and WORDS that you share. Thank you."