Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Going Out to Clear the Pasture Spring

I have a lot to write, but not the presence of mind write it today – so here’s more poetry!

Sometimes poems are much better at conveying a mood than clunky prose . . .

By Katie Ford

We love the stories of flood and the few
told to prepare in advance by their god.
In that story, the saved are
always us, meaning:
whoever holds the book.

Other Answers
By Carl Dennis

Now he's gone off, the middle-aged man
Who rang the doorbell a moment ago
Looking for the Russo family,
And already I'm sorry I settled for saying, "No.
No Russos Here." A true reply,
True to the precept against deception.
But what about a flow of fellow feeling
That would have pushed me to step out
On the porch a moment—pulling a coat on
Against the November chill—and point
To houses where I knew for certain
The man would be wasting his time to ring?
A dinner guest, maybe, growing uneasy
About finding the residence of his new friends.
Am I so gloomy about the likelihood
Of stories with happy endings that I'd like everyone
To stay home, content with his portion,
However meager? Or did the man remind me
Of a character in a play who spells trouble,
A borrower who might bleed a house dry,
A talker so courteous he makes a wife regretful
She didn't meet him before she met her husband.
Or did I suspect he'd envy the pair the joy
Each feels in the other's company, as Iago
Envies the love of Othello and Desdemona?
If I want to be fair, I have to assume the visitor
Innocent until proven guilty. For all I know
He could add to the play the part of the true friend
That Shakespeare hasn't provided, a counterpoise
To the secret enemy. What a difference he'd make
By urging Othello to pause a moment,
Listen, and reconsider. However else
The world would remain the same
If I were inclined to give fuller answers,
Othello's story might be less predictable.
He wouldn't always stumble without a candle
To the final scene, wouldn't always learn late
What he'd give everything to learn earlier.


Virginia Gal said...

Othello was an ass.

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