10 September 2004


Okay, another admission. As a former English major I should appreciate poetry more than I do. I let a lot of poetry just sort of wash over me and I'm pretty resistant to the modern prose-with-random-carriage returns school of expression.

[Although, I do like Langston Hughes (thanks to a "Law and Order" episode). Here's an example of his straight-to-the-heart yet musical writing:

"Motto" I play it cool/ And dig all jive / That's the reason /I stay alive. // My motto, / As I live and learn, / is: / Dig And Be Dug / In Return.]

But every now and again, something catches my eye by catching my heart. It comes in the back door and reminds us that - as Jean Kerr said - poetry is an emotional short-cut, not the long way around.

I got this the other day from "The Writer's Alamanc," a project of Garrison Keillor's and American Public Media's.

"Believing in Fate" by Hal Sirowitz

I don't have a telephone, she said,
so I can't give you a number.
I'm not a great fan of planned dates.
But if I happen to bump into you
on the street I'd be willing to go for coffee.
Let's leave it to chance. It brought
us together once. It could work a second time.
You could help fate along by hanging out
in Chelsea. That's where I live. If I
gave you any more information I'd be cheating.

No comments: