1.09.2012

Poem - Life Is Short - We've So Much To Do Yet

Remembering going to many book and poetry readings with Di over the years at UNO, there were a few writers that touched my soul and few others that I wish I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to.  Di and I talked about this poem written by Adrienne Rich and I had hoped that she would be one of the writers at one of the seminars but it never happened.  Di and I talked about the enormity of the words used in From An Atlas of the Difficult World prior to her being diagnosed with cancer but I think that this poem was a preclude to what lies in every stretch of every imagination and the importance of always understanding that there is difficulty and there is also a way around the difficulty even if it is not the way we wish it would be....


From An Atlas of the Difficult World


I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
hand because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

-- Adrienne Rich





Peace and love and kindness and tears all tucked into one little perfect basket with so much left to do yet and so much that never got done...
Cath

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The people we meet form the foundation of our lives that when built upon allow us to bloom and blossom in ways that we never would have anticipated.