Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 2, 2013

On Poetry: Poetry captures smallest moment

Have you ever been on your knees in the middle of pulling up dandelions and wondered what the heck you’re doing? They’ll just come back. It’s an endless battle. Is it worth it? Then have you ever noticed your heart kind of sinking — a sense of futility?

The thing about poetry is, the smallest moment can be seen fully, seen for what it is and also for the feeling it opens up in us.

It’s time to pull up dandelions (unless we spray them to death).

Some yards near us are absolute goldmines. (I, personally, think they’re lovely, but not after they quit blooming and turn into tough wads of leaves.)

Peter Campion gets it just right, what it feels like to pull them: the sudden “pock” of the root coming out (if we’re lucky).

Milk coming from the stem, the heap of them snarled in the driveway.

Then suddenly this poem’s not about dandelions — it’s about us, and now. “It happens still.”

This feeling of what? That things (even our own past) are impermanent, unsatisfactory.

There’s that sudden feeling that no matter how many weeds we pull, things are going to decay and fall. Small creatures will eat patterns into the driftwood. Nothing stays.

But then the speaker in the poem notices that there’s a release that follows this feeling.

There’s a tinge of silver, which we recognize from the dandelion leaves.

What’s that? What do we recognize? That there’s nothing behind all this judging what needs to be pulled except our own stories about how things should be.

We make up our world!

Notice the poem says we make up stories “as If” the only power we have is that of children, who call the dandelion a flower. It’s a weed, it’s a flower, it’s either and both.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot