Anne Notations

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wordless as the flight of birds

Sorry, friends. I am mute. Dumb. Words stick inside my chest; I can feel their pressure like a stone next to my heart. There is just too much unthinkable stuff to think about these days. This isn't one of my periodic pity-parties. I'm just stating a fact: I've lost my writer's voice.

Here we are in a recession, heading for a depression it seems, and the presidential election process is careering crazily from pony show to horror movie. A winky-winky Barbie doll who says things like "You betcha!", "Joe Six-Pack," and "gosh darn it" for vice president? Gag me with a snowshoe. A $700 billion bailout of Wall Street? How can anyone even count that high? I'm speechless just trying to contemplate it. I'm terrified wondering how such a sum will be paid, and what it means for our children.

I really do have some other things to share with my blog-reading friends. Some continuing bad news (Michael is still unemployed, 1.5 years now); some new bad news – I broke my beloved Canon G5 camera and have not gotten a replacement yet; some good news – Kevin is doing well in school and seems like a different person since his ADD diagnosis and starting on a med to help him focus.

During the past month I've done some fun things and reached a new level of victory over my old driving phobia. My pulse is racing from the pace of my job. I'll get through it. Fall is always a crazy-beautiful season for me.

Tonight, the concept "mute" immediately evoked the first lines of a favorite poem I still remember from decades ago. Since I'm not doing so well speaking for myself, I'll let the poet take over. Tonight, I will just be.

Ars Poetica

by Archibald Macleish

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown --

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind --

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.

A poem should be equal to
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea --

A poem should not mean
But be.


  • I hear you, Anne. I can feel myself holding my breath throughout the campaign, the financial news.

    If McCain/Palin win the election, my 70-year-old parents will be moving out of the country, they're that disgusted. Fortunately, they cashed out a little more than a year ago -- sold the house and all the stocks -- and have the financial means to become ex-pats. They believe that if the majority of America wants McCain/Palin leadership, then perhaps they are so out of touch with America that they'll be better off elsewhere.

    Here's to the ability to draw a cleansing breath soon.

    By Blogger Tracie, at Mon Oct 06, 10:26:00 AM EDT  

  • Be well, Anne!

    By Blogger bozoette, at Mon Oct 06, 02:37:00 PM EDT  

  • Scary times - I'm hoping for change too. "Gag me with a snowshoe" = Anne still has her sense of humor but also her poetic gift of words with the title of this newest entry.

    By Blogger just linda, at Mon Oct 06, 04:53:00 PM EDT  

  • Great poem. A poem should not mean but be - amazing.

    At this time of the Jewish New Year I hope and beseach G-d for good for you and your family.

    By Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann, at Wed Oct 08, 12:30:00 AM EDT  

  • I lost every dollar I had in 2002 via court order. Still...I live with someone who got (figurative) murdered because she was heavily invested. This is not the day for schadenfreude.

    Sarah Palin is a horror show. She and her husband were associates of some guy who was shot to death years back, an Alaska secessionist who got support from Iran. Can your spell "treason"? She's the attack dog McCain is launching at Obama over his alleged radical associations. Damn. I have one too. Forty years ago I slept (extensively) with a woman whose brother was in SDS. Wow. I wanna be on the enemies list, too, Sarah, please please please!

    By Blogger Ken, at Wed Oct 08, 05:22:00 PM EDT  

  • I'm sorry to hear about the camera, I'm glad Kevin's doing so well, and I totally understand the "voice loss." I hope it comes back soon, because it needs to be heard.

    The "bailout" baffles me, and I know the news will be even harder to digest in the next four weeks, so here's to keeping our brains together.

    Love that poem.

    By Blogger BrideOfPorkins, at Wed Oct 08, 09:54:00 PM EDT  

  • Sorry to hear you're feeling wordless, because I find your words beautiful and moving. It is a scary time these days and I'm trying to remember to just count my blessings, but sometimes that is easier said than done. I hope more good things come your way and that you feel better soon. Oh and I couldn't agree more with you about Palin -- ICK!

    By Blogger Bean, at Thu Oct 09, 03:54:00 PM EDT  

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