10.9.08

unnoticed...

James Still

Visitor


There was a poem here yesterday,
But not now.
It sat for many an hour
Unwelcomed, unnoticed.
It went away for lack
Of ears to hear,
Eyes to see,
Hearts to open.
The poem went away
And did not look back.

7 comments:

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hi Sam, a typo in my post, which I didn't catch. But just to say this really hit home with me. Some days I wonder why we write poems, why we care about language---it seems like a lost cause. Maybe the poem itself knows better, moves on, waits ........

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I like the idea of the poem as a living entity, a force of being. Still's piece captures that notion. His work has such an ease, reminding me of William Stafford.

Thanks for the read, Kathryn.

esk said...

I thought this was a somewhat desolate poem.

I think that regardless if "there's a lack of ears to hear, eyes to see, hearts to open," as long as the poem has meaning and feeling with the writer, it should stay alive: may the power of written word shine for you!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I think desolate is the right word for the poem. It's also a bit frightening - all that is lost to us. And we cannot escape that loss. Thanks for the read & comment, Erika.

anhaga said...

Good choice, Sam. Still remains underappreciated, I believe, even, strange as it may seem, in "Appalachian Studies." There is something uncontainable about his poems, though it is sly and not obvious on first reading. But they linger.

This one, so stripped of flourish, has an almost Japanese timbre of regret for the undiscoverable world of what might have been....

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I agree with you, James. Underappreciated. The voice in his poems is so settled into the world that the casual reader doesn't get it. The voice is stripped of all false notions, I think, and we're not used to that.