Posted by: jt | April 6, 2008

vanity

I’ve been a bit of a dark, tortured poet character lately. As I have no desire for this space to be primarily whiny or bitchy, I’ve adhered to the rare words of Marcel Marceau: It’s good to shut up sometimes.

Working through my melodramatic drivel, this evening I found myself reading one of the higher authorities on dark, tortured poetry. Instead of throwing my own paltry words your way, I’d rather go to this more credentialed source. Though I’m taking liberties with sequence, a little Emily Dickinson, if you please:

Life XIII
The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I’ve known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

Life XIX
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

Life VI
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

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Responses

  1. I think periods of whinery and bitchery can be quite cleansing and healing. Especially when you’re still entertaining and clever.

  2. Thanks. :-) As usual, you say the perfect thing.


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