This poem has my mind branching and stretching in many directions, I love the simplicity and open feeling I get alongside very concrete imagery. Maybe because of the imagery?
When I read the line “Concocted a little fire in the darkness.” I immediately thought of poetry being the fire, and writing it being the act of concocting.
I feel quite calm every time I get to the end of this poem. While it draws up many sadnesses and curious connections, it lets them go as it moves through memory and acknowledgment back to being.
Wishing you so many thanks, both given and received, and much time outside. Remember when you’re at a loss, and have nothing to say, “thank you” is always a good bet.
I love “worn by salt and sway” and the fact that the haunters are tentative. That the wreck is terrible yes and hard to see, takes time to get to, but once you’re there it’s quiet and oh so beautiful and you get to be your many selves without any which one competing. Everyone’s allowed.
I can’t remember when I first read this poem but my strong association with the book is slipping it into a tote bag on the way to the ER. Even in emergencies—actually, especially then—I bring poetry.
When I am overcome with grief, even in the seizing, halting, gasping, blustery nose-blowing throes of it, there’s always a small hard seed of gratitude for the feeling I am feeling.
I love the idea of personal ghosts being faithful and true, and able to choose one day to stay while we ourselves move on. It’s a mysterious process letting go of ghosts...
I can’t recommend enough the whole book that this poem comes from; it was a rare reading experience for me the first time through, all at once and punctuated by several sudden bursts of uncontrollable sobs.
Gray reminds me that huge amounts of work can get done, and pleasurably, by practicing one’s craft well and unhurried, and all while prioritizing poetry and people. His poems settle me in the daily life of neighbors and the natural world...
A poem for you about water, and vastness, and movement. Each time I visit this poem I feel recognized in my cycles of work and it makes me pause and step back to wonder...