Friday, February 29, 2008

Poetry Friday -- Riveted

by Robyn Sarah from A Day's Grace: Poems 1997-2002.

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
...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.

Read the whole poem here.

It's been awhile since one of Garrison Keillor's poems on The Writer's Almanac spoke directly to my heart. It happened yesterday. I read those first two lines and they said so much:
  • Age happens.
  • Bodies fall apart.
  • Public education.
  • Global warming.
The middle of the poem made me slump down in my chair. But then the ending. The truth of the ending. The glory that makes us cling to life even when our bodies betray us. Even when current events seem to be going somewhere in a hand basket.

I'm listening to The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman right now. Lyra and Will are in the Land of the Dead. I dedicate this poem to them, to the force of life, to all of the amazing things we each will do with our lives.

Kelly Fineman has the roundup today.


  1. I heard yesterday's poem too and was riveted (forgive me). I was also moved by this morning's offering.

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you're finally digging out.

  2. I love the way the poet has used a deceptively plain, flat voice to lead us all the way through to that powerhouse punch. Wow. It just knocks you flat, doesn't it?

  3. Anonymous6:46 AM

    I've been reflecting on change as well, whether good or bad-it's still change. One thing that keeps me constant is the glorious movement in my student's learning is yet, another form of change...and that has made all the difference.


  4. I love the acknowledgement:
    It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
    without waiting for the last act: people do.
    Some people do.

    -- yet it goes on: most of us do not, will not, and will cling to our lives.

    Odd to think of having crossed the big water when one is still gearing up for the journey. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Magnificent and powerful. Your own words moved me,too. Thanks.

  6. There are some haunting poems this week. This one and the poem posted by Sarah "You Can't Have It All" have quite undone me this morning. I will spend the day
    in reflection
    of the idiocy of education administration, sitting through training for yet another initiative, and I know
    I will stay seated in my narrow seat,
    all through the tedious denouement to the unsurprising end,
    but on Monday I shall return
    to my imperfect students
    because they are children
    and they are mine.

  7. Oh, I've never seen this. It's powerful, and I like the way it speaks to the tenacity of the human heart.

    And, mme T., this

    but on Monday I shall return
    to my imperfect students
    because they are children
    and they are mine.

    is so nice. :-)

  8. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Powerful - both the poem and your context for it. Thanks.

  9. Anonymous9:38 AM

    I am so with you on the Keillor selections - I've been kinda skimming them recently without finding anything that sings to me, but yesterday's was gripping.

  10. Anonymous11:04 AM

    Oh my lord that is lovely. Spellbound by our own imperfect lives indeed.

  11. Anonymous10:34 AM

    I teach in a University in Texas and have for almost 20 years. I taught in public school for 21 years. I am tired. I heard this on the way to work that day and immediately printed it and put it outside my office. Today I thought of a friend who could use it and googled - found your blog. Yes, and yes. a fellow traveler


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