I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Dirge without music - Edna St. Vincent Millay
A Ritual to Read to Each Other by William Stafford
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
Waiting for graduate schools was pretty difficult. It's hard to be patient when so much seems to be on the line. I did pretty well though, considering how restrictive humanities PhD programs have been, and was admitted to UCLA, Indiana, University of Michigan, and Rutgers. I've decided to pick Rutgers for a whole host of reasons, but mainly because every professor I talked to there was amazing. Also, while every school offered me an amazing financial package, picking Rutgers meant that V could keep his job and we'd have the security of two incomes. I can't wait for this new chapter to begin. First though, I need to finish the chapter I'm in, which means graduation!
by Robyn Sarah
It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.
Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.
It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious dénouement
to the unsurprising end — riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.
I applied to 12 PhD programs in English in December and I've already heard back from 2 programs. So far I've been accepted to Indiana - Bloomington and UCLA. Both of them are fully funded programs, which means full tuition coverage, health insurance, and a sizable living stipend. UCLA is quite a shock for me and I can't wait to hear what other news may be coming in these next few weeks. It seems as though everything I've been working for is finally paying off.
Everyone thinks you should leave, Bacchus.
Your truth is not wanted here.
These vines will not protect you.
The sun will burn you out
and bleary-eyed, blinking,
You can step into the harsh light
of unclouded thought.
You are not married to this.
Why do you insist on the train
of bottles that follow you -
calling out your attachment
for the town to see?
You drink in Plato's cave
and think the shadows
are not cast by wine's light,
but All is false there.
Outside of this there is a world
not fettered by a disease.
It does not care for who it holds
but only blinds the sick
from seeing the shackles.
Disallowing them to turn their heads
whispering darkness in their ears
that all friends are false,
that family is a lie,
that it is alone with the dark
secret lover that you can be free.
Soft-oh, so soft it seduced you
to be out of your mind
and you think the walls
keeping you out can be dissolved
with one more drink,
but it is the ocean that makes you an island.
The ocean of wet thoughts
and slippery consonants
that steal your voice.
You feel you cannot ask for help
because you have thrown away
the key, the boat, the lamp,
but kept the bottle
which you fill with incomprehensible notes
of emotion - thinking it's true feeling
and not the presence of Bacchus
on your heart who rules
to please only himself.
You are less than a tenant of your body
because you are his slave.
Isolated, strangled, blind, muzzled-
I can only watch
and bid you to seek consolation
outside of yourself and hope
you aren't washed away in the flood.
I have this book of poetry that I picked up because of my love for NPR's "The Writer's Almanac" and pretty much all things Garrison Keillor. It's called Good Poems for Hard Times and is pretty much poems that have been read on "The Writer's Almanac" that Keillor has picked out as some of his favorites. (There are other books in this series, but this is my favorite). When things get hard I do often turn to this book, probably as most people turn to a devotional, and have done so for the last 9 years during some of the roughest times I've known. That's not to say that this book is only good for the worst days, because even days that just suck in the tiniest way can be mourned. This is not so much a promotional post for this book even, just an aside to say there's about to be a poem that spoke to me today and if I put it here perhaps my future self will thank me.
The Rules of Evidence
by Lee Robinson
What you want to say most
Say it anyway.
Say it again.
What they tell you is irrelevant
can't be denied and will
eventually be heard.
is a leading question.
Ask it anyway, then expect
what you won't get.
There is no such thing
as the original
so you'll have to make do
with a reasonable facsimile.
The history of the world
is hearsay. Hear it.
The whole truth
and nothing but the truth
is a lie.
I swear this.
My oath is a kiss.
"I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right"
- Music:Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on.
I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer
I feel a desire to keep some record of my life in here, even if it is only once or twice a year since I don't keep a written journal.
I'm currently in a coffee shop in Chapel Hill, NC. I'm in the middle of another research program. This year has been incredible.. Between two archival trips to Yale and this trip, I feel as though my research is important and actually matters to people outside of my own head.
This fall I'll be applying to graduate school and have finally narrowed down my list of the ten schools I'll be applying to. I'm nervous, but excited to start this part of my academic life. I'll graduate next May with my BA finally.. after 12 years of starting and stopping for various reasons and I'm so glad. Life is complicated and it certainly wasn't a "traditional" path, but it was the only way I could get to where I am.
That path itself.. well, I've been thinking about it a lot. It could be the summer, it could be traveling, it could just be that I'm prone to nostalgia. It's not even a remembering, but a longing and a grieving that grabs my heart like a fist until I can do nothing except let it wash over me. I regret nothing because I'm happy where I am, but I think that the desire for the past to be different is a human characteristic.
- Location:UNC-Chapel Hill
- Music:The White Buffalo - Oh darling what have I done