Monday, January 3, 2011

Pain by Linda Pastan



PAIN
By Linda Pastan, from "Waiting For My Life"

More faithful
than lover or husband
it cleaves to you,
calling itself by your name
as if there had been a ceremony.

At night, you turn and turn
searching for the one
bearable position,
but though you may finally sleep
it wakens ahead of you.

How heavy it is,
displacing with its volume
your very breath.
Before, you seemed to weigh nothing,
your arms might have been wings.

Now each finger adds its measure;
you are pulled down by the weight
of your own hair.
And if your life should disappear ahead of you
you would not run after it.

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9 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

The language wasn't really taking me in the poem until the last two lines, and then all I had was understanding. Pain of all sorts.

Marion, last night when I laid down I picked up The Prophet again and for the first time I heard his words. It is funny to me how this happens, how time and time again words can lay against me like a blunt hammer and I can't understand a thing, and then for some reason something turns and the words become a nail.

You read the blogger Ruth? I just found her. You would love her poetry, her references, and her passion for the word.

xo
erin

Serena said...

Wow, that is one powerful poem. It expresses what I'm feeling just now much better than I ever could.

ds said...

She is a remarkable poet, Ms. Pastan. Thank you for sharing this, Marion!

Rick said...

Oh, I'd run after it
just to kick myself in the ass
she described the heaviness perfectly
~rick

Terresa said...

Beautiful poem, thank you for it!

PS: Saw you removed your lovely blog comment on the books you've read in 2010, hoping you will repost it here at some future point? :)

quid said...

Haunting. Amazing.

quid

Wine and Words said...

For certain, she knows it. You can write a thing in a search to understand. You can write a thing to rid yourself of it. You can write a thing when there is nothing of you left...but that.

Love you!

Kelly said...

A poet I like very much, thanks to you.

Wonderful poem! I see this as both physical pain and emotional pain. Yes, wonderful!

Jos said...

This heaviness, the weight of pain is described so perfectly. Sometimes we forget to enjoy the lightness of being free of it ... even if for a short while. Why do we do this after promising ourselves not to? Seems we forget all too easily sometimes.

Happy New Year to you Marion. I am resolved to spend less time online as I have so much stuff backed up that I really must address. I shall be popping by less, but I will read with the usual enthusiasm I'm sure! xx Jos