Fired Works


There is a brilliant, sad and powerful poem by Yehuda Amichai, the Israeli poet who should have been a Nobel-winner, with these lines:

Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting
at some other place like a snake cut in two.

I was reminded of it a few days ago when I came across the skeleton of a poem I never completed at the time of the event, over twenty years ago.  The pain was too fresh and too deep to control and shape, desperate though I was for the catharsis of externalizing it into a poem. Finding the draft fragments re-animated the memory and feelings, with the Time that has passed quenching and taming them enough to finish the work. Whether it has tamed them too much and dulled the result, I leave to you to decide.

Fired Works

One evening last week,
I saw you cross 17th Street
as my taxi waited
(two from the front)
for the light to change.

My heart burst,
not with the elegance
of the sky-filling blooms
we watched from my roof-top
on the Fourth of July,
but with the chaos
of fire-cracker snakes
thrashing the side-walk
on Chinese New Year.

Afterwards,
just shreds, red shreds
stuck underfoot,
little bits tracked
to
every
corner
of
the city.

About Drachenfutter

It's all in my blog....
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One Response to Fired Works

  1. dgreenleaf says:

    Love the way the last stanza trails off. Don’t think you lost anything with the passage of time. Wordsworth said it best: “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility”

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