japonisme: sweetness

05 April 2009



Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving

someone or something,
the world shrunk
to mouth-size,
and never seeming small.

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn’t leave a stain,
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....

Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low

and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief

until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don’t care

where it’s been,
or what bitter road
it’s traveled
to come so far, to taste so good.

Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn, “Sweetness” from New and Selected Poems 1974-1994. Copyright © 1989 by Stephen Dunn.

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Anonymous evan said...

cool. A Toorop I'd never seen before :) Coming here, there's almost always a treat.

06 April, 2009 10:59  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

he's wonderful

06 April, 2009 13:15  
Blogger amatamari© said...

I do not know English well but I think truly a unique poetry and I like the pictures the accompanying...

A very nice atmosphere ...


11 April, 2009 09:44  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i really appreciate your saying so, amatamari

11 April, 2009 12:04  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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