Friday, July 25, 2014

Poetry Friday -- You Are There




You Are There
by Erica Jong


You are there.
You have always been
there.
Even when you thought
you were climbing
you had already arrived.
Even when you were
breathing hard,
you were at rest.
Even then it was clear
you were there.

Not in our nature
to know what
is journey and what
arrival.
Even if we knew
we would not admit.
Even if we lived
we would think
we were just
germinating.

To live is to be
uncertain.
Certainty comes
at the end.



June and July have been travel months of for me: Indiana, Hocking Hills, Michigan, Colorado, and next up, Vermont. I like Erica Jong's answer to the question, "Where am I?" 

As Back to School ads and sales rev up and I feel like I should be thinking even more about the upcoming school year than I already am (no school nightmares yet, though...knock wood), I will hold onto that last stanza.

Sylvia and Janet have the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Poetry For Children


11 comments:

  1. I think I need to memorize this poem. Use it as a form of meditation, a reminder simply to breathe. A good one to recite in the middle of the night after waking from a nightmare, I dare say.

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  2. Not in our nature
    to know what
    is journey and what
    arrival.

    How true is that? I'm heading to VT later today (I just live in the next state). Are you going for business or pleasure? Enjoy it!

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  3. Love this poem and was surprised to know Erica Jong writes poetry. Enjoy your travels. VT you say? I used to spend months each summer at our summer home on Lake Champlain. Sigh...

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  4. I hear you about those back to school ads! I've been teaching summer school, and it doesn't end until the week teachers return! Whew!

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  5. Jong's poem captures it perfectly with the lines:
    "Not in our nature
    to know what
    is journey and what
    arrival."
    I am forever worrying about the arrival, especially recently with my life upheavals, instead of enjoying the journey. Thanks for sharing this poem today when I needed to read it. = )

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  6. I was in a store with Halloween stuff today and it made me go ??
    "Even when you were
    breathing hard,
    you were at rest." -- nice.

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  7. "Certainty comes at the end"
    Yes, it does.
    Jong's poem was beautiful, and worth a few reads!

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  8. The line breaks in this poem are so effective. Strung together in long lines or as a paragraph, I think this poem would not have its calming effect. Thanks for sharing this, Mary Lee!

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  9. My favorite fridge magnet reads "Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end." Which reminds me that the journey is all.

    Although, running down the side of a mountain this past week (because running was actually easier than leaning back and holding myself to a walking pace), I was very aware that there was an end--the CAR--to reach!

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  10. "To live is to be uncertain." Truer words were never spoken! I like Michelle's idea of using this poem as a meditation, it does have a calming effect. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  11. Great poem about the journey of life, especially the lines: Even when you thought
    you were climbing
    you had already arrived.
    Thank you for sharing this, Mary Lee and enjoy your travels before school starts.

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