Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ledge of the Sandbox

Body Politic

Out for stars he
took some
down
and we all
wondered if he might be
damned to such sinister
& successful enterprise:
we took him and
unfolded him: he
turned out
pliant and warm
& messy in
some minor way: then, not
having come to
much, we
lit into his stars which
declaring nothing dark
held white and high
and brought us down.



-A.R. Ammons (Collected Poems 1951-1971)


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When I began to make friends, writing was the vehicle. So that, in the beginning, writing, like reading, was less a solitary pursuit than an attempt to connect with others. I did not write alone but with another student in my class at school. We would sit together, this friend and I, dreaming up characters and plots, taking turns writing sections of the story, passing the pages back and forth. Our handwriting was the only thing that separated us, the only way to determine which section was whose. I always preferred rainy days to bright ones, so that we could stay indoors at recess, sit in the hallway, and concentrate. But even on nice days I found somewhere to sit, under a tree or on the ledge of the sandbox, with this friend, and sometimes one or two others, to continue the work on our tale. The stories were transparent riffs on what I was reading at the time: families living on prairies, orphaned girls sent off to boarding schools or educated by stern governesses, children with supernatural powers, or the ability to slip through closets into alternate worlds. My reading was my mirror, and my material; I saw no other part of myself

-Jhumpa Lahiri over at The New Yorker

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For real.

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Holy moly.

2 comments:

Sandy Longhorn said...

I <3 Jhumpa Lahiri and Michael Jordan! Thanks for the links, Luke, and the poem is pretty darned nice, too.

Luke said...

Agreed, Sandy! Ammons has taken over my imagination for the past two weeks. He's such an amazing writer with such a unique range to his work.