Monday, October 19, 2009

A Chocolate Creme Caramel Break

Chocolate Creme Caramel Break

From an Atlas of the Difficult World


I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
hand
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

- Adrienne Rich

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24 comments:

MeetaK said...

Sigh! As difficult as it might be - there is always hope and of course chocolate creme caramel! Hugs!

Mowie @ Mowielicious said...

Oh honey, that's gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing! (PS: Is FBC the task you cannot refuse?)

=)

Jamie said...

Lovely, Hilda. A way to dream and escape for just a bit, chocolate crème caramel in hand. Hugs!

high over happy said...

Can't believe I just found your blog. My taste in poetry is fairly pedestrian, but I loved this one. Thanks for the introduction to the new (to me) poet!

queencake and titangirl said...

the poem is lovely hilda, as are your posts, always

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Touching & heartwrenching too. Like the jar of creme caramel...there, yet not! Beautiful Hilda! xo

Eric Woods said...

You know I'm really coming to love your blog through all this commenting, win win for everybody I guess!

Molly said...

Commenting for Haiti. Reading this poem in that light is quite sad. I think the most striking line: "Because life is short and you too are thirsty."

Stacy said...

Ditto what Eric said!

Heather said...

That is a beautiful poem.

Katie said...

yummers!

Natasha said...

I love that little glass pot!

Corey said...

As a language major (Russian), I love the line, "I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language guessing at some words while others keep you reading and I want to know which words they are."

The nuances of words are so meaningful, aren't they?

M'ap priye pou ou, Ayiti cherie!
(I'm praying for you, dear Haiti!)

Leah W said...

i wonder if i will end up commenting as much as corey :)

Wanna B Thin 2 said...

Loved this poem!

Meg Kat said...

The title of this post had me drooling.

Dbe said...

The empty jar...makes me long for chocolate...

ejm said...

I was SURE I had commented on this the other day! Granted, the poem did leave me speechless "listening for something, torn between bitterness and hope turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse". Perhaps in my eagerness to read the rest of your blog, I forgot to press "send".

-Elizabeth

Kat said...

Interesting poem with great images

Jeanne @ Cooksister said...

Love love love the poem - so full of images that will stay with me.

Sari said...

Lovely!

Donnette Davis said...

#Haiti

Such a "tugging at the heart strings" piece of writing, so very beautiful. Thank you...

THis is the line that really touched a chord in my soul...

"I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope..."

Anonymous said...

comment comment. thanks for the good work.

Ted said...

Did I miss this before? Oops. Comment.

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