Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Reinstituting "Quote of the Week" - Quote #1

Back in the mid-90's when Chayyei Sarah was an email newsletter, I had a Quote of the Week section.

Lately I've been realizing (again) how privileged I am to be surrounded by so many wonderful books, so many words, and to love them so much!

So, every so often (maybe every day, maybe every other day, maybe 3 times a day), I'll share with you what catches my fancy.

The problem: Where to start. There is no beginning and no end to the words I love. So we'll start in the middle, here, with "First Love" a poem written in 1985 by Michael Waters. A little sad, but true, sometimes. Here we go:

First Love
by Michael Waters (b. 1949)

So what if you're living in Jersey
with a man who works for the phone company.
Your life must be miserable--
a name lost in a row of mailboxes

studding the loud, gravel drive,
your husband shaking the whole trailer
when he grunts onto you each night,
his workshirts souring in one corner.

So what if none of this is true
and your daughters grow lovely on lawns,
if your husband steps off the 5:14
asking, "Can we do nothing this evening?"

I imagine the fireplace, the flokati rug,
the cat sighing on her silk pillow.
So what if I live just across the river
and speak to the immigrant shopkeepers

or to no one, so what if I chain
my dog to a hydrant for hours, so what
if I buy a single pork chop for dinner.
So what if this life flows on, if I read

a passage in some Russian novella
and think of you, if I go to the table
to write this poem, but have nothing to say
except so what, so what, so what?

[Sarah's note: Feel free to leave your impressions/ analysis/ comments. Once an English teacher, always an English teacher! (but you won't be graded.)]

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