The Poet's Truth - Poem by Daniel Brick
The poems are absent, they
have been absent for a week, a full week...
Oh, yes, some have arrived tardy, an hour tardy,
two hours tardy, a half-day... It does not
matter, the ones who do show up are not the ones
we want, the ones we need
to strengthen our fiber, to make
our senses keen, and - to make
the whole thing work. We've all known
for weeks that it's not working:
the poems we recite don't restore us,
the poems don't reside inside us,
we're empty... We've been afraid
to say this out loud, because what
remains silent, buried in heart-depth,
in mind-caverns, in voice-fissures,
what lies buried may be just one person's
fancy, one person's terror... But I'm
saying it out loud, and all of you know
what this means. S-A-Y I-T Someone else!
The loss must be carried by all of us.
S-A-Y I-T Say it! Someone else!
We all know he's given to
hyperbole. The way he praised
even the weakest poems. He could never
tell anyone the truth: yes, yes, poetry
means so much to him, he wants everybody
to enjoy it, to profit from it,
to do it - That's all very true, very noble,
very stupid. THIS is where it's gotten us!
But, my friends, the crisis is not terminal,
unless we allow it to be - terminal.
There are shreds of poetry all around us,
discards, rough drafts, debris. We pick up
the detritus, no longer despised. Pieces
lying on the floor of workshops, pieces
littering the Great Halls, love poems left
on garden benches, sacred poems in church pews,
everywhere you will find it. We will assemble
fragments, work in teams to polish them.
HE WOULD HAVE YOU DESPAIR! Forget him
and his kind. Bundle up the fragments,
form committees of recovery, replace
what has abandoned us with what remains
Those who knew him, knew him
as a difficult man to love,
but love him they did.
Those who read him year after year
struggled reading each new poem,
but they never stopped. What did
they know the rest of us forgot:
that he alone among us knew
necessity of Sacrifice. He had
to eat, he had to sleep, needed
comforting, cried out in pain -
in such things he was one of us,
perhaps even just like us. But
his soul extended so far beyond ours,
it touched boundaries unknown, crossed
thresholds invisible. But he stayed
in our midst for so long, and what an agony
he suffered... for our benefit, our
health of being. In the slow end, he simply
collapsed into pieces. How did he remain
whole for as long as he did? Oh, pray for him,
pray for us....
In Memoriam Aleksandr Blok
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