Wednesday, November 02, 2005

From Joshua Weiner's The World's Room

I have been re-reading the poems from Joshua Weiner's beautiful book The World's Room, and this one on page 23 reminds me a lot of Danny's sensibility. I just had to post it. Plus, it's just a gorgeous, poignant poem.


Lines to Stitch Inside a Child's Pocket

Boy now, man later; and all the story in between:
Yes breaking down to No, joy to pain.

Milk now, meat later; separation, fuse.
Swim the river rising and with patience take your aim.

Miss once, miss again; and your whole life seems a waste.
The target is yourself becoming brave.

Who soon, who later?--whatever happens next--
Someday you'll lose us in the in-between.

Joshua Weiner


"The target is yourself becoming brave." What do you think of this line? I think it is the heart of the poem. Without it, the poem becomes too sad, too depleting. In the midst of the pain and loss, the speaker identifies a purpose to keep living and struggling.

8 comments:

ladydaria said...

Hats off to you from one writer to another!

T L Reynolds said...

The final line struck me so hard that I was brought to tears. I am particularly fond very concise poems like this. As far as the "aim" line, I think that the poem would unravel without it.

MB said...

Yes, that line, along with the first and last lines. This poem is a sort of telegraphic series of images and phrases, very tightly constructed indeed. Beautiful. And sad, it makes me sad, but then I have a child. But not, as you say, without hope and purpose -- sad from the parent's perspective, the letting go.

Nice choice, Amy.

dcsillada said...

This poem hits me hard and your quoted line "The target is yourself becoming brave..." has a lasting and haunting effect afterwards.

SilverMoon said...

Superb choice, Amy. The same line that hit our poet friend Danny "hard" is one of the compelling reasons I read his passionate works and view his talented art. Danny, you are brave and I admire your perseverance among adversity. You have so much to offer.
Amy, I always enjoy the educational aspects you highlight on your blog. Thank you.

T L Reynolds said...

Moose,
I think that this poem does have a very different effect on parents. I can't help thinking about my daughter when I read this.

Amy said...

Thanks you to everyone for your poignant comments on this poem. Isn't this why we read poetry? To be moved by such artistry is a joy.

Dariana:

Thanks for dropping by! Please join us again soon.

T L:

Yes, that line is key. I think a goal for us as poets could be to write poems in which every line is so essential that the poem, as you say, would unravel without it. Everything else should go.

Moose:

I agree, it is sad. It also makes me remember my own chldhood, how I had to, like all of us, come to a realization of how difficult life really is.

Danny:

As I noted in the intro, this poem made me think of you. You have been through a lot, and yet you perserve--the living definition of "becoming yourself brave."

Silvermoon:

Yes, Danny is embedded in this poem.

Thanks everybody!

Jackal said...

Inspirational poem.

'Miss once, miss again; and your whole life seems a waste.
The target is yourself becoming brave.'

I think says so much about the process of life.