Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Carrying the Song, A Poem

Carrying the Song

Received advice from
a well-placed source
in the high court

that poems inspired
by occasions, birthdays,
anniversaries, Lima’s

first international
poetry festival, don’t
break the sound barrier,

will not be picked up
in press that reports
to God, will disappear

as the days they mark
into a rose-dipped
scrapbook, destined,

if kept in order
along with birth

and pictures
of the first dog,
for discovery

at some future date
by an eager

wishing to create
a mosaic of a time
and place, a birthday

where various
unidentified poets
shuffle notebooks

beside the laureate
of the day also now
unread except

by a kid told
by his dad
that when he goes

to Dublin not to forget
the Crazy Jane poems
or Easter, 1916,

the Lake Isle
of Innisfree. Surely,
I mock the idea

of tradition and
individual talent.
Poets like Tom

Eliot or Yeats
are read still
in the thoroughfares

but who knows
for sure unless
one leaves

to the kids,
to remember

their dads’ books
as they steam-roll
into the marketplace,

their adult dress,
the first loves
that will lead

to their own
reckoning with
the empty page.

Indran Amirthanayagam, c) April 2, 2012

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