it is the good darkness

It is terribly hot tonight in Palo Alto and I cannot think or make myself page through the poetry books populating my room or spend even one more minute typing on the laptop burning my legs.So I just asked my friend Tom, who is a good poet himself, for a recommendation. And this is what he suggested and I love it.

“Trying to Pray”–James Wright

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women’s hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.


5 thoughts on “it is the good darkness

  1. When I Was Living Near The Ocean
    by Malena Morling

    When I was living near the ocean,
    once or twice, suddenly
    when I did not expect it,
    when I was thinking about other things,
    I looked up

    and in the sunlight
    through the green wigs of the trees
    I saw the ocean.
    But it was not the water,
    it was something altogether different
    that I could not name.

  2. I was thinking about what “women’s hands that touch loaves” and “the spirit of the tree” and “think of water” have to do with each other and why it works so very well. Or rather, just appreciating how poetry places objects without clear associations beside each other and it is very satisfying.

    I guess if poetry sometimes expresses what is “inexpressible,” then this seeming randomness is needed. Life doesn’t really make sense, and our thinking is not really linear, so when a poem is not straightforward, it is a better representation of life than it would be otherwise.

  3. To Cat, it’s what T.S. Eliot (maybe somebody before him, but that is up to debate) called the objective correlative.

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