Saturday, December 01, 2007

Poem of the Week 11/19/2007: Jacob's Ladder Reversed

Jacob’s Ladder Reversed

I tell a story awfully.
If I were to find a girl in a well, become a hero,
surely I too would take my life.
I have at lesser successes.
I have wrestled with such pale angels.

For example, I know a wonderful girl
who is wonderful because once we spoke
barely knowing each other while speaking
& she moved my furniture & painted it gold
& set me up with friends & lovers.
She is wonderful. Do you see?

Did I tell you that this was two years ago,
that I’d just been married?
This wonderful girl did not come to the wedding.
(She was not invited.) Still I think her wonderful.

Throw me a little ladder.
Let me climb back now to my grave

Arielle Greenberg

Some general questions about this poem. Maybe you could write a paper.
Hm. Regrets. What is an opportunity?
In what ways is the narrator conflicted, and what does this conflict show us?

Another, more specific: does anybody know the reference in the first stanza, to finding a girl in a well and saving her life?

1 comment:

Emmy said...

I don't know the reference, but I would like to. I like this poem, but I read them so differently than you do. I think I ride the pictures like ripples and forget to wonder what stepped in the pond. But I do get curious. I liked what you had to say about not exposing the privacy of the last poem, and feel that way about art and poetry a lot of the time. That to show it to many diffuses its potency and light, or shines ugly light onto it and makes it mutate into something banal. It's like the assimilation diversity concepts you were talking about over break. It's the same reason I'm glad there are laws. Without laws, there aren't exceptions, and often it's only the exceptional who are willing to peel back the wood paneling and run around naked outside. I'm in a bathroom in the Behavior and Social Sciences building sitting on a counter where there aren't any sinks. I'm wondering if someone will discover me and what they will say.