Friday, September 12, 2014

Poem for the Weekend


I read lots of poems this week, but this is the one my thoughts returned to over and over again. And so I went to read a bit about the author, Kay Ryan, and found that she grew up in “small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert,” the two places where I spent my first twenty-three years. She even attended Antelope Valley College, as I did, before I decided to drop out and head north (but that’s another story for another post). Here is a link to read a bit about her writing and career, and here is her lovely, minimal poem.

Drops in the Bucket

by Kay Ryan

At first
each drop
makes its
own pock
against the tin.
In time
there is a
thin lacquer
which is
layered and
till there's
a quantity
of water
with its
own skin
and sense
of purpose,
shocked at
each new violation
of its surface.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka