Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sweetness

Lucy was blogging recently about worrying that the sky fall will fall on your head the minute you start to feel good/confident/happy about life.

I was in Edinburgh on Wednesday seeing the other D' wives and treated myself to Bloodaxe's Staying Alive, "real poems for unreal times" edited by Neil Astely. It is a fantastic anthology of 500 life affirming poems, some well loved, others new, well to me at least.

I read this one, Sweetness by Stephen Dunn. It is out there in blogland already so I hope it is alright to post it here. It is very much how I feel about the world lately.

Sweetness by Stephen Dunn

Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumble through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving

someone or something, the world shrunk
to mouth-size,
hand-size, and never seeming small.

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn't leave a stain,
no sweetness that's ever sufficiently sweet . . .

Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low

and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief

until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don't care

where it's been, or what bitter road
it's traveled
to come so far, to taste so good.

4 Comments:

Blogger L.M.Noonan said...

this poem resonates with me as well. Thanks for posting it.

12:40 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

I'm glad you like it too.
Thanks for commenting

12:22 pm  
Blogger PI said...

There are periods when one avoids hearing, reading or watching anything sad and I seem to be in one just now.
Head in the sand for a while.

4:47 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

That's understanble, given the fright you've just had.
And you look for the sweetness in things as a matter of course anyway Pat.

4:53 pm  

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