Despair

The title is not mine; it’s what Billy Collins wrote at the top of this collection of words, a collection which some of you may recognize as a poem. The rest of you can go sit on a tack.

So much gloom and doubt in our poetry –
flowers wilting on the table,
the self regarding itself in a watery mirror.
Dead leaves cover the ground,
the wind moans in the chimney,
and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin.
I wonder what the ancient Chinese poets
would make of all this,
the shadows and empty cupboards?
Today, with the sun blazing in the trees,
my thoughts turn to the great
tenth-century celebrators of experience,
Wa-Hoo, whose delight in the smallest things
could hardly be restrained,
and to his joyous counterpart in the western provinces,
Ye-Hah.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Despair

  1. Phil, my fellow Batavian John Gardner would stand and cheer your comment. He wouldn’t say there should be no negativity in art, but that the art should show people rising (like Phoenixes, I suppose) from its ashes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s