Reading Your Letters

Friday & Sunday in March.
Pass slowly. Step back,
Understand what I’m saying.
We’ve never seen her so weary.
April. A unicorn & a girl.
Dear. Hello dear.
You fell asleep, sweet girl.
Auf Wiedersehen, –
Always the same suspense in different,
More arrogant costumes.
But the unicorn, –the flattered ani
– mal bridles and rears and leans
against her lap. It is a mirror that she holds.
See! She is showing the unicorn its likeness-
Are you not poetry I understand?
Everything, forever.

Rilke’s words (italicized) for Real Toads & QKJ #13
He was a poet and hated the approximate.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Journal of My Other Self

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22 thoughts on “Reading Your Letters

  1. I like the tag ‘expressionism’ – you have taken the use of words to capture feeling and image to a whole new level in this poem. Rilke’s words fit so well, I wouldn’t have known they were not your own.

    1. I feel the same way about poems. Thanks for catching my feelings. Reading letters from the late 80’s (a fossil for sure…I mean WHO writes letters anymore?) made me hate the girl I was. Maybe hate is too strong. But I squirmed, for sure. And this guy had all the magical unicorn qualities…that sparkled for quite a long time.

      1. The girl you were made you the woman you are……….this poem is wonderful – magical – and I was happy to have this explanation of where it sprang from. I especially love the unicorn.

  2. Well, you have challenged me. I adore the way you open this, with lines that almost go together, but also take unexpected zigs and zags. It’s hard to do well, and you do. Do you have a book? Where can i get your book? If you don’t have a book, why on earth not?

    1. And do YOU have a book? of course you do, right? I feel like all my relatives need to die before I publish:) I have fantasized about putting together something, and the stuff I really want to write I keep secret. I love the daily discipline of distilling my feelings. Thanks Shay

      1. I have three books, and two more together with Mama Zen and Hedgewitch. Click on the “my books” stand-alone page at Word Garden, along the top task bar, or the little book cover on the side.

  3. you should have a book. i mean one we can read. i’m sure you have a book that only family reads, in the (heaven forbid) lines on your visage. ~

  4. Love this Angie. Love Rilke as well. If you’ve not read them, his Duino Elegies are a must. The Stephen Mitchell translation if you can find it.

    “Are you not poetry I understand?
    Everything, forever.”

    “Life is once,
    forever.”
    Henri
    Cartier-Breson

    “Understanding” is a thing
    highly overrated in poetry,
    I think. The feeling is all.
    Does it grab you and not
    let you go? That is good.

    Introduction to Poetry
    BY BILLY COLLINS

    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide

    or press an ear against its hive.

    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,

    or walk inside the poem’s room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.

    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author’s name on the shore.

    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means.

      1. Yes. The box grows with you.
        I feel exactly the same way about the names of poets. Constantly coming across new ones that I must pursue.

        (To be fair, Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photographer. Credited with founding “photo-journalism” and the coining of the term “the decisive moment.” He is an extremely poetic photographer and well worth a poet’s time in pursuing as well.)

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