Monday, February 06, 2012

a short text on the long history of my failures

there is a poem by james wright that blew my mind when i was a wee lad

the poem "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota'

is an idyll meditating on the greeny world and the reader's place in it

the poem ends with a crashing note, "I have wasted my life.'

i have wasted my life was a war cry for me for a number of years

i read that line as a triumph not as a defeat even tho now i think it's rather clunky

the poem is dated even maybe a bit, dare i say it, out of fashion

even so i am attracted to poetry because it is the art of failure

to use this common medium, words, and use them in such a way to make a poem

is an exercise in failure, there are so many words and too many ways to fumble

but words are me and i am a member of the human species

the art of poetry is the practice of utter impracticability

and absolute beauty, so perhaps wright was on to something

poetry is the practice of defeat turned to beauty

when i put the giant paperclip to my collected poems

i'll call it the long history of my failures


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