Book In Hand
Reviews, thoughts, tears and smiles.
Book In Hand
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Here is one of my favorite poems. Please read, as it has, for some reason or another, stuck with me since the many years I’ve read it.
VARIATION ON THE WORD SLEEP. By Margaret Atwood.
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head.
and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of the bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards your worst fear
I would like to give you the silver branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary
Why it often rains in the movies
Because so much consequential thinking
happens in the rain. A steady mist
to recall departures, a bitter downpour
for betrayal. As if the first thing
a man wants to do when he learns his wife
is sleeping with his best friend, and has been
for years, the very first thing
is not to make a drink, and drink it,
and make another, but to walk outside
into bad weather. It’s true
that the way we look doesn’t always
reveal our feelings. Which is a problem
for the movies. And why somebody has to smash
a mirror, for example, to show he’s angry
and full of self-hate, whereas actual people
rarely does this. And rarely sit on benches
in the pouring rain to weep. Is he wondering
why he didn’t see it long ago? is he wondering
if in fact he did, and lied to himself?
And perhaps she also saw the many ways
he’d allow himself to be deceived. In this city
it will rain all night. So the three of them
return to their houses, and the wife
and her lover go upstairs to bed.