Saturday, March 24, 2007

As long as there is memory, there is poetry

Rainier Maria Rilke, in his letters to a young poet, said something to this effect: If you're looking for subject matter, no matter what you are living now, you can always find poetry in the memories of childhood:


The bitter winters
didn’t kill us, though every
year at least one person
usually a stranger
froze to death. As for

us, we scrambled through
snow tunnels, lay
on our backs to form
angels, flew down
hills that put cut glass
to shame:

It was simply
the way of the world--
a cruel splendor
that we took for granted.

I was not an only child, but
lonely as a child of ice.
This was the only world I knew.
I knew no other.

Copyright 2007