Monday, April 16, 2018
The woman was sitting, lost in thought, oblivious to a poem I'd glimpsed the first line of as I got on the train. I didn't get the chance to read the rest of it until I got back home & Googled it. It's a good poem to commute with.
Every morning I forget how it is.
I watch the smoke mount
In great strides above the city.
I belong to no one.
Then, I remember my shoes,
How I have to put them on,
How bending over to tie them up
I will look into the earth.
When I think of Simic it's always "Empire of Dreams" that comes back to me. It's not a poem for kids, but the ten or eleven-year-olds I worked with drank it right up as a model to write from - the book & the mask & the sideways logic of dreams. Though they couldn't know the context of Simic's poem - his childhood years in war-torn Belgrade - they knew dreams as well as any adult. Probably better.
The first line of "Empire of Dreams" is seductive to a writer of any age. Try using it yourself.