Emptyness

on April 20, 2007 with 2 comments » |

Perusing through the Pulitzer prize winning pictures by Renée C. Byer (found via Amit Varma's blog today), I got all teary-eyed by the time I got through the first half a dozen pictures!

A dose of perspective early in the morning as sulky-me wakes up to another day....! And what a day it's already been - between the pictures and the Stephen Dunn poems I read this morning! (The poem that resonated the most is reproduced below for your pleasure. A great beginning and a delectable ending... hallmarks of a
good great poem - not the rest of the poem was any less enjoyable! Now I know what tristesse feels like!

-------

Emptiness

I've learned mine can't be filled,
only alchemized. Many times
it's become a paragraph or a page.
But usually I've hidden it,
not knowing until too late
how enormous it grows in its dark.
Or how obvious it gets
when I've donned, say, my good
cordovans and my fine tweed vest
and walked into a room with a smile.
I might as well have been a man
with a fez and a faux silver cane.

Better, I know now, to dress it plain,
to say out loud
to some right person
in some right place
that there's something not there
in me, something I can't name.
That some right person
has just lit a fire under the kettle.
She hasn't said a word.
Beneath her blue shawl
she, too, conceals a world.

But she's amazed
how much I seem to need my emptiness,
amazed I won't let it go.

(c) Stephen Dunn
Published in his book of poems, Everything Else In The World.
The poem previously appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of Prairie Schooner .

2 comments

  1. Kim // April 25, 2007 at 9:44 AM  

    I made the mistake of looking at the photos that you referenced the other day. Teary-eyed puts it lightly. As a mom, I know where the strength would come from to go through something like that with your child, but I can't envision where to get the strength to deal with such a loss. I feel that it would truly leave your soul with an unimaginable emptiness which would take an unfathomable amount to time to even begin to heal.

    I normally denounce the idea of Wikipedia at every opportunity, but here's an nice definition of emptiness from that site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emptiness

  2. Sanjeev // April 26, 2007 at 11:52 AM  

    Ok... not just teary-eyed. I was bawling. There... I said it! :)