Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Returning, Despite the Ill Reward

Poem of the Day:
"Ravens Hiding in a Shoe" by Robert Bly

Excerpt from "Ravens Hiding in a Shoe"

There is something that men and women living in houses
Don't understand. The old alchemists standing
Near their stoves hinted at it a thousand times.

Ravens at night hide in an old woman's shoe.
A four-year-old speaks some ancient language.
We have lived our own death a thousand times.

This summer has been atypically busy, and at times more stressful than the season would suggest. With a job, an internship and occasional stints as a babysitter of a 5-year-old boy, I have had little downtime. But, I haven't been unhappy. I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship, love the people I met at my job, and have watched countless episodes of The Ninja Turtles. It's a surprisingly well-written television show.

I may have little to show at the end of the summer (paying back the rent, a small online publication) but I wouldn't change my humid months spent in Boston.

Bly writes of those who return despite no call: "Each time we say, 'I trust in God,' it means/God has already abandoned us a thousand times" (lines 8-9). Faith is strengthened without an external beacon.

Bly stays with the church, constructing a line that is particularly relevant to our contemporary lives. He writes, "Mothers again and again have knelt in church/In wartime asking God t protect their sons,/And their prayers were refused a thousand times" (lines 10-12).

Bly's true motive behind this piece becomes lucid in his closing words. He addresses himself, writing, "Robert, you've wasted so much of your life/Sitting indoors to write poems. Would you/Do that again? I would, a thousand times" (lines 16-18).

Me too Robert, me too.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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