Eyes Poem by William Matthews

Eyes

Rating: 3.0


the only parts of the body the same
size at birth as they'll always be.
'That's why all babies are beautiful,'
Thurber used to say as he grew
blind -- not dark, he'd go on
to explain, but floating in a pale
light always, a kind of candlelit
murk from a sourceless light.
He needed dark to see:
for a while he drew on black
paper with white pastel chalk
but it grew worse. Light bored
into his eyes but where did it go?
Into a sea of phosphenes,
along the wet fuse of some dead
nerve, it hid everywhere and couldn't
be found. I've used up
three guesses, all of them
right. It's like scuba diving, going down
into the black cone-tip that dives
farther than I can, though I dive
closer all the time.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Edward Kofi Louis 24 July 2017

Used up! ! Thanks for sharing.

1 5 Reply
Lantz Pierre 24 July 2017

To me the appeal of this poem seems too limited and its reference points too fixed and personal. There's some good images and descriptive passages, but I hope I never have to know whether he's captured his subject adequately or not. And I have great respect for Thurber, I'm not a huge fan but certainly an admirer. But all in all the poem remains outside my wheelhouse in a way that doesn't beg for me to extend myself and try to capture the essence. It that sense it remains a little dry and clinical instead of compelling and/or challenging in a good way.

1 0 Reply
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