It’s almost 5AM. Can’t sleep. Reading a thread about why people don’t read poems. When I was growing up, I was always put on the hot seat when people find out that I love poetry. I felt like I was always defending it (still am) — the pleasure of reading it, writing it, and talking about it without feeling someone else’s scorn. And then when I finally found people who love it as much as I do (maybe even more), I also spent some time defending who I read, works I liked, why I liked it, what should be part of the goddamn canon. Some of those years were ugly and exhausting. I can’t even begin to explain how they left scars. But the rest of it — those hours free from the claws of What Is and What It Should Be — those were pretty brilliant.
Tonight, reading about different reasons, perspectives — it’s fascinating. It hurts a little, of course: how could people resent something I love? But it also gave me a lot to think about. As one person has put it, all those opinions by people who absolutely don’t give a shit about poetry — it might just do the trick when one needs a good sobering.
Somewhere a Seed
Somewhere a seed falls to the ground
That will become a tree
That will some day be felled
From which thin shafts will be extracted
To be made into arrows
To be fitted with warheads
One of which, some day when you least expect it,
While a winter sun is shining
On a river of ice
And you feel farthest from self-pity,
Will pierce your shit-filled heart.