Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In Which I Finish a Book of Poems I love Linda Pastan’s poetry. To choose only one poem from The Last Uncle would be a challenge, at best. Truth is, it is nearly impossible. While I didn’t love every poem, I liked almost every one of them. The few that I loved were ones that were especially true for me. Which is what is so remarkable about reading her poetry. Pastan’s life is so removed from my own and yet the emotional integrity of her writing resonates far beyond her own experiences. When she writes about traveling to places I have never seen, I still find myself understanding her sense of isolation. Her exploration of her daily life may not be similar to mine but the ritual of existence is something I recognize. With all that said, here are three poems from the collection. One is a fragment of a longer poem. I know I said I would share one poem from each collection I finished, one poem I especially liked but this time . . . well, I made a rule for myself. Now I’m breaking it. In the Garden I tell my dog to sit and he sits and I give him a biscuit. I tell him to come and he comes and sits, and I give him a biscuit again. I tell him to Lie Down! and he sits looking up at me with trust and adoration. I pause. I give him a biscuit. This is the beginning of love and disobedience. I was never meant to be a God. September (from The Months) Their summer romance over, the lovers still cling to each other the way the green leaves cling to their trees in the strange heat of September, as if this time there will be no autumn White Lies When I swore, then, that I loved you, I wasn’t sure I meant it, though I mean it now. And when you said “forever,” you knew the future was bearing down on us, its brakes worn out, completely out of control. In love’s unblinking perjury, fact and fiction smile and embrace— identical twins, separated at birth. You say I still look beautiful. I say we’ll always be together.

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