When I love,
if I do,
I will seek.
So, when I
press my lips
it’s not fear.
It’s living past you.
I get naked
cut two holes
in a paper-bag
and place it over my head.
I look in the mirror
assess my strengths and weaknesses.
for three goats
and an olive tree.
I like a look of Agony,
Because I know it’s true
Men do not sham Convulsion,
Nor simulate, a Throe-
The Eyes glaxe once- and that is Death-
Impossible to feign
The Beads upon the Forehead
By homely Anguish strung.
By Emily Dickinson
I read An Introduction to Poetry my Sophomore year. It was the poem that shattered everything. All the years picking apart Shakespeare and creating wrinkles under Keats vanished with Collin’s beating hose.
I rember watching 4.0 students crush their eyebrows over the notion of not flipping through terms to classify verse. Where’s the trocheic iambic dactyl? What should I scribble on the margins if there’s no right answer?
But like everything in school- I left it after the test.
Ice cold water and peanuts. Brilliant peices. So brilliant. I read him, i did, I sat in a desk and read him. But I didn’t know him. I didn’t hold enough curiosity to whip a connection and wiki stalk his recitations. I didn’t have the zeal to sprint to the library and clear his humble shelf.
I think if that teacher, the one who showed me An Introduction to Poetry, had shown me those peices i wouldn’t have drooled and squirmed. I would’ve emerged from my usual slumped position, read the peices, carfully guarding my expression to disguise my interest- and stuffed them into a decrepit binder.
I would’ve tossed them at the end of the year with the rest of my crumpled homework.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
By Mary Oliver
Back from India,
There’s a man I really believe’s in heaven,
-over there, that man. To be sitting near you,
knee to knee so close to you, hear your voice, your
cozy low laughter,
close to you - enough in the very thought to
put my heart at once in palpitation.
I, come face to face with you on a sudden,
stand in a stupor:
tongue a lump, unable to lift; elusive
little flames play over the skin and smoulder
under. Eyes go blind in a flash; and ears hear
only their own din.
Head to toe I’m cold with a sudden moisture;
Knees are faint; my cheeks, in an instant, drain to
pale as grass. I think to myself, the end? I’m
really going under?
Well, endure is all I can do … . .
god i love this brilliant Greek poet!