Sunday, February 5, 2012

Subways, Instant Oatmeal, and Poetry

Recently I heard this interview with poet Aracelis Girmay. I really liked what she had to say about how poetry helps us slow down and is in many ways completely the opposite of all that's fast-paced about our lives. I was driving on Bay Road in Hadley through beautiful foggy farmland, and this poem came to my mind.

On the Radio, a Writer Describes How Poetry Is the Opposite of Instant Oatmeal

On my morning commute
soil, puddles, corn stalks, two-hundred-year-old maples, dogs, houses, line of pine trees, yew windbreak, rutted mud, rusty wheels, fog, pink sky, a man walking a dog, a woman standing in a driveway, mailboxes

and through them I can already see
blue cubicle, computer screen, coffee maker, Coffee-mate, struggle, window, notepads, agenda items, folders, chairs, notes, lists, schedules, flip charts, the need to retreat

but the existence of poetry
smoothes my gritty alone into a silky alone, paints the man and the dog into a scene by Van Gogh, cheers the woman in the driveway onto a stage.