Moderation Is Not A Negation of Intensity, But Helps Avoid Monotony by John Tagliabue

I love poems that talk to the reader - like this one does with an exasperated question / request.  This particular poet was a dancer.  Can you tell by the spacing and the stanzas?

Moderation Is Not A Negation of Intensity, But Helps Avoid Monotony by John Tagliabue

Will you stop for a while, stop trying to pull yourself
for some clear "meaning" - some momentary summary?
     no one
can have poetry or dances, prayers or climaxes all day;
     the ordinary
blankness of little dramatic consciousness is good for the
     health sometimes,
only Dostoevsky can be Dostoevskian at such long
     long tumultuous stretches;
look what that intensity did to poor great Van Gogh!;
     linger, lunge,
scrounge and be stupid, that doesn't take much centering
     of one's forces;
as wise Whitman said "lounge and invite the soul."  Get
     enough sleep;
and not only because (as Cocteau said) "poetry is the
     literature of sleep";
be a dumb bell for a few minutes at least; we don't want
     Sunday church bells
     ringing constantly.


  1. I love this one Rooth :) It's rare for poems to speak out to me, a lot of things nowadays are written with no depth. Thanks for the share!

  2. "only Dostoevsky can be Dostoevskian at such long
    long tumultuous stretches"...yes

  3. Lovely, this. Be a dumb bell. Yes. Speaking to me right now, not to yearn constantly for moments of "clear meaning." How do you always know?

    Still thinking about your last post. I'll get back to you, promise!

  4. Preach. I need to remember this when I hit a wall with writing; no one can have that much intensity all the time, there have to lulls. xo

  5. "only Dostoevsky can be Dostoevskian at such long
    long tumultuous stretches" . . . love it!

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  7. cute!!
    love your blog!!
    would you like to follow each other??

  8. be a dumb bell. i am pretty good at that. i think if i didn't find myself automatically being silly several times within the day i'd be such a stressed out person. i mean i have been that stressed out person filled with anxiety and it was torture. i really think just being silly is one of the best therapies out there. and it's free and it's totally natural. everyone loves to be silly. thanks for sharing this one!

  9. This poem definitely got both the wheels turning in my head, and some laughs out loud from me. What a true as can be true poem! John Tagliabue is one smart man! I ought to listen to these words :)

  10. Love it! Thanks for always sharing the good stuff!

  11. Love your blog, let's follow each other!


    Being a silly head once in a while is important.

  12. "lounge and invite the soul" - I love this one.

    Happy new year Rooth!

  13. I think I need to print this one up, frame it, and put it up by my desk as a reminder, a very needed reminder.


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