Letter to a Young Café: Letter One – 11 – 6 – 17

“… ask yourself in the stillest of night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple ‘I must,’ then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. M. D. Herter Norton) First Letter to a Young Poet

And so… the Go Dog Go Café, a community of writers and friends who hope to help welcome you and listen to the words you feel compelled to write. Pull up a chair, write, read, drink your favorite coffee, stick around for a while and share your journey as a writer. This global bunch of folks connected through Word Press, and we hope that you will find our virtual café as inclusive, supportive, and encouraging as we have found one another. Maybe, like me, you have turned inward year after year and seem to have always felt a compulsion to write and are now looking for a venue where your music can be heard. Maybe you are like others who have discovered the necessity to write only recently. Maybe you have refined your craft of writing and need a place to polish your art and gain that last bit of confidence before seeking out places to publish. Maybe you are still finding a voice to make your writing distinctly your own. All are welcome here at the Café.

Rilke tells his young friend to look to nature, everyday life, the environment, dreams, memories, childhood to find inspiration. These subjects and themes run throughout the writing of all the GDG baristas and friends of the GDG. We also tackle the mother of all subjects, love, and its devilish companion, sex. Prompts, songs, movies, headlines, inspire us as well as one another’s writing. We look forward to listening to what you have to say, with a strong belief that “a work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity.” (Rilke)

A poem inspired by Rilke’s first letter and Yeats’ “To the Rose on the Rood of Time.”

Will This Flower Be

Be near enough to me, Rose, that I might swallow thee
Only not to macerate but germinate inside the soul’s soil
Learn the tongue of an unknown man. Will this flower be
Like any other flower and simply live its life until composted
Or will this flower be unlike all the others and in doing so
Provide Art an imagination it had not known needed naming.
The tongue, at first, needs a little space to taste the breath
It shapes to know if it must to survive. Not all breath needs
The shape of these words in its reflexive act for survival,
Young poet, but survival depends on how you fill the space
With roses that emerge from that soil your soul cultivated,
Perhaps only God will hear your garden’s song, but sing, still.
He, being the Word, knows better than all others if Poets must
Speak to Art’s imagination or just wallow in Narcissus’ pond.

With those reflections, I turn to our Café’s schedule.

Monday, Sangbad will co-host his Guest Post.

Tuesday, we hope to see Amanda visiting with JoyRoses who has written a book with another blogger about some wonderful characters for children and adults, including a cat named Dewey, a jackalope named Jaxon, an owl named Odessa, and the human called ‘manservant’ who takes care of them on their farm. A third blogger, a wonderful watercolour artist named Jodi, painted these characters so you will get to see what they look like as well.

Wednesday’s line up is still in development, but to get us over the hump day, I am looking to build an exciting mid-week line-up with a regular prompt, an after hours session where we will explore the more sensual side of writing, and some spoken word by Christine.

Thursday, Davy will hang out with Basho and reflect on getting back to nature and the essence of poetry.

Friday, I will reflect on The Alchemist in the first monthly book club.

Saturday, Gina will invite you to come and sit down with her as she reflects on the week that was at the café.

Stop by next Sunday for my next weekly post in this “Letter’s to a Young Café” series.

Throughout the week, we will invite a writer to the café with a reblog from the place they are compelled to share what they must write; some of these writers will be new to the café, others will be good friends stopping by for an espresso or latte.

Finally, if you would like to be featured as a Blackboard Special, send us a submission through the contacts page and we will take a look. I hope you have a wonderful week and look forward to seeing you around the café.

I leave you with one final reflection inspired by Rilke’s first letter:

Look Around

Look around, Poet, see these realms?
No one, I implore you,
No one
Has before seen them
As you do now.

Bring:
a dictionary,
collected words,
imagination,
rhythms
rhymes,
love
and daring.

Dance, sing, paint
Into existence
That which past you
Will endure forever more.
Look around, Poet, see these realms?

Rilke quotes from M. D. Herter Norton’s translation of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet published by W W Norton & Company, New York, in 1954.

16 thoughts on “Letter to a Young Café: Letter One – 11 – 6 – 17

  1. Pingback: (GDG Cafe) Letters to a Young Café: Letter One – 11 – 6 – 17 – sailorpoet

  2. Pingback: Look Around | Poet's Corner

  3. Pingback: Will This Flower Be | Poet's Corner

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