Sunday, February 8, 2015

Poem for the Weekend: Lucie Brock-Broido

Lucie Brock-Broido's 2013 collection, Stay, Illusion: Poems, was a finalist for the National Book Award. In an interview, she said of poetry: "It’s not a thing that blooms; it’s a thing that wounds," and her poems keep you on their toes with their shifting syntax and diction. They demand close attention and are often difficult reads in the best of ways: their ideas and images force themselves into your consciousness and then, your memory. More on Brock-Broido here.

You Have Harnessed Yourself Ridiculously to This World.
by Lucie Brock-Broido
Tell the truth I told me                                When I couldn’t speak.

Sorrow’s a barbaric art, crude as a Viking ship                Or a child

Who rode a spotted pony to the lake away from summer

In the 1930s                                       Toward the iron lung of polio.

According to the census I am unmarried                And unchurched.

                                    The woman in the field dressed only in the sun.

Too far gone to halt the Arctic Cap’s catastrophe, big beautiful

Blubbery white bears each clinging to his one last hunk of  ice.

I am obliged, now, to refrain from dying, for as long as it is possible.

For whom left am I first?

                                                          We have come to terms with our Self

Like a marmoset getting out of  her Great Ape suit.


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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