Sunday, April 27, 2008


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.


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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