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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

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After great pain, a formal feeling comes–
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Toombs–
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round–
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought–
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone–

This is the Hour of Lead–
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow–
First–Chill–then Stupor–then the letting go–

My family and I visited here around six summers ago, right after I had returned to teaching.  That year, I had taught American Lit and totally got into hyper-fervid enlightenment as I coaxed students into understanding her work, particularly this piece.  I think I jumped off a desk.  So we took the tour and when it was over, the curator gathered us in the garden and asked volunteers to read some of her work.  Of course, English teacher geek that I am, I found this one and told the patrons about how this poem had engaged me.  When I finished, the curator looked at me like I had just spit snot on her, and my oldest son ragged on me unmercifully.

Still, it was pretty cool seeing the house.

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1.

You can lead a man away

from everything he holds as

holy—

Broken roads, and savage

highway scrapped,

moving town to town.

It’s all just movement

out and away from what he

considers sane—

but there is a place, a

pastureland, maybe only mere

memory; but he holds it up

like some offering in the crystal dawn.

2.

I want to be clean, don’t want to be followed.

I want to be

healed,

holy,

and whole.

I will rearrange the way

that I look at the world

and seek some pastureland

down deep inside

my head

. Rhode Island/Connecticut border Valentine’s Day 2002

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