Thursday, June 21, 2007
Although I believe that poetry has a right to express all the human moods, from sadness to elation,it seems at times that it is almost a requirement of our age that the poet be world weary, disillusioned, and even a bit cynical. Many poets seem unwilling or afraid to deal with the larger issues such as the possibility of belief in the transcendent realms as well as the great social challenges confronting our times. This poem is my "protest poem" against such prevailing attitudes.
Don’t Look, They Said
I realize I am violating the rules.
That to be correct is to
be full of hopelessness,
like a fountain brimming over
References to happiness, to joy
are forbidden here.
Everything around us is, I agree,
falling into ruin.
The buildings blasted,
the babies screaming.
Blood running down the street.
But don't look there either, they said,
Don't talk about what is happening.
Keep to the smaller, ephemeral displeasures,
the quiet personal discontents.
Go deeper and deeper into yourself
where nothing matters too much,
where everything is covered in dust,
air has a slightly acrid tone.
As for the rest of it,
the moment in the garden
or perhaps it was the mountain peak,
that didn't happen,
erase it quickly before
it becomes indelible on your mind.
That way you will be safe,
not get carried away
by too much sentiment,
too much sun.