Friday, July 9, 2010

Timeless, Age(more)

Poem of the Day:
"Vacant Lot" by Paul Jenkins
Radio Tooth

Tonight with my visitors, my parents, I enjoyed a stroll into Harvard Square -- my father on the other hand, enjoyed a crawl into Harvard Square -- to get food and drinks. We spent most of our time following an elderly couple -- this will give you an idea of our pace -- who seemed so utterly content, arm in arm, with their lives and their night.

Jenkins' speaker seems to be a late twenty-something, or an early thirty year old. Either way, he is much younger than either of the older pair from tonight's ramble. I can sense this almost immediately. In the first line of his poem Jenkins writes, "These rooms are where we live but not for long" (line 1).

I have noted this of my life countless times. I believe that I spend most of my time packing and unpacking, re situating myself in a new place be that Connecticut, Ghana, Ireland or Boston.

"If it's wholeness you want you better search somewhere else/And privacy and safety because all I know/Is there's less horizon every time I look" (lines 4-6)." Certainly Jenkins' lines could be considered person-specific, but I think of them as age-specific. His speaker seems angry because of life's uncertainty, because of a lack of contentment he has found with it.

To me this poem is the antithesis of tonight's pair, the elderly couple who led my parents and I into Harvard Square. They were happy to drift along in each other's company.

At one point, the woman went to walk into the post office, at 9 PM at night. She laughed, turned around to her husband and said "Oh, do you want to go in here?"

I think he said something along the lines of, "Well, why not?" Life had fed them, they were full and it is wholeness, that which Jenkins' speaker has not yet found, that sits deep in their bellies.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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