Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sonnet 60 - John Berryman

 Another sonnet by John Berryman.  (Be sure to read any and all that are - or will be - in this blog.  You must.  You will thank me, but you don't have to.) Missing out on Berryman is missing out on what can be the result when a person of his complexity and command of language focuses on Love.  

As for this one.... in whatever continent's city I've waited for a subway train, this is the poem that comes to life just before that train arrives.  It will happen to you, too, after you read the second strophe.  You'll think of this poem the next time you anticipate meeting someone you hope is "the one"..... And if you have found "the one" already, all the more reason to feel like this every time you are apart and reuniting.....  (Speaking of subways,  my iPhone app of the Paris Metro just flashed a message that service on "Ligne 1", the one that runs east-west and stops at the Louvre, is "pertubé" - "perturbed", by which they mean it has a problem.  How apropos of poetry to think of a train as "perturbed"...)
Sonnet 60

Today is it?  Is it today?  I shudder
For nothing in my chair, and suddenly yawn.
Today I suddenly believe.  Since dawn
When I got up, my muscles like a rudder
strain crosswise from this work.  I rise and mutter
Something, and hum, pace, and sit down again
Hard.  A butterfly in my shoulder then
Stops and aches.  My stomach swings like a shutter.

As the undergrounds piston a force of air
Before their crash into the station, you
Are felt before your coming, and the platforms shake.
So light, so small, so far still, to impair
Action and peace so….risks we take make true
Maybe our safeties….come for our risk’s sake.

                                                                                    John Berryman - American

No comments: