the wee hours of the early morning, most of my peers are soundly sleeping.
However, this is the best time for me to compose poems with maximized
inspiration. My mind springs open with random notions that are then linked
together in lyrical rhymes – perhaps an innovative sonnet which is my favorite
form – or lyrics that convey humor or a deep emotion. Endowing ideas with
concrete images, those poems often make my friends and teachers burst into
laughter and they reward me with appreciative winks - I fully cherish those
weekly visit to Old People's home! Life is simple: Mr. Yu smiles and I smile.
He is a 93-year-old childless chemist who has Alzheimer's. Again, I'm feeling
the coldness from his trembling hands but the warmth from his smiles. Never
changed was that old Chemistry Workbook on the desk, also his lack of coherent
speech to express his excitement: only smiles.
Yu loves "Story Section". Only now is he able to recall his memory
and deliver a "speech" to a patient listener: me. Although I clearly
know every detail about this tale which has been repeated every single time, I
will not interrupt as I wish his smile to be eternal. When he mentions children,
he lowers his head depressingly. I will hold his hand and share my warmth with
him for minutes. That childlike smile never fades from his face as "Story
Section" ends. He waves quietly as another seven days start counting down.
smile of Mr. Yu gave me more appreciation of helping the elderly, more power of
love and happiness.
Just a little girl, age nine at the oldest, She doesn’t know a thing about reality. She lives in a world where she could be a princess, And fairytale endings really do exist. The scariest thing about her precious life Is the walk to the bathroom at night when it's really dark. She doesn’t know what it is that scares her so much About the dark. But it does… scare her. I think back to that little girl that I used to be very often. And now I think I know why I was so scared Of the dark, that is. Because who knows what’s out there, you can’t see. I don’t like to believe in things I can’t see, but It's so hard to believe in anything… when it's dark. There could be monsters, or murderers, Or boyfriends that don’t treat you right, or Parents that stay up all night and fight, Or just plain old loneliness. And I think back to that dark teenager I used to be, People must have been so scared of me. I was endless and hard to see, like the dark That separated the bathroom from me. But now I understand That the dark, twisty places are meant to be seen. But only by a few that won’t just have pity. They’ll be there, and even if they don’t understand, They’ll understand that they won’t necessarily understand all the
time. And that understanding is more than any Advice. I look back and I think There will always be things I’ll be terrified of. The dark in the hallway The dark in my soul. But one way or another Fears must be conquered.
This is some unreal, crazy, infinite shit. Like you’re pulling back my layers bit by bit. You unravel me, unroll me until I’m nothing, Naked on the floor, like a fool cuz you’re bluffing. And I’m still crawling after you, scraping up my knees Begging for your love, just please baby please. You hit me and bruise me so much I can’t think And then you tell me we’re forever, you put it in ink. Somehow I don’t understand that actions speak louder than
words. It gets easier in time, at least that’s what I’ve heard. But my heart beats for you, every rhythm is a cry. I reach for you, beg for you, I will til I die. You tell me you need me, we’re two halves to a whole, We fit together, work together, but this love/hate’s taking
its toll. I want to breathe and think, without waiting for the other
shoe to drop But I just can’t leave you alone, I just can’t stop. I feel like an idiot, just working my life around your every
move And when you come around, you act like there’s something to
prove. How about this, how bout you prove that you love me? You quit playing games, we both win cuz we’ll both be happy. But no, for you it's more fun to see me in pain, Look at me and all you put me through, all the scars and
stains. I wish I could say I’m leaving you, but we both know I
can’t. I’m stuck here, rooted to the ground, I’m a god damn house
plant. So I’ll just write another verse, and try to buy time. Before I get blamed and beaten for one more of your crimes. You smile, I smile. You frown, I frown. Is that enough? You secretly take advantage, cuz you know I can take it
rough. I’m done caring and worrying what everyone else sees. I just want to be happy with you, for the fighting to cease. It never will, and neither will I. I will love you until the day that I die.
The Basque woman appears through the sweetness of an unknown language, and she disappears in the ungraspable murmur of words in a foreign language. Who is the Basque woman? And why is she obstinately characterized by an impenetrable 'speaking in tongues'? A first answer is implicit precisely in the incomprehensible nature of the verses at issue. The story suggests several times that the Basque woman is that which is so inner and present that it can never be remembered ('I would like her to be so close to me that a forced memory would not give me even her image')... — Giorgio Agamben, The End of the Poem. Studies in Poetics. Trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford UP, 1999. 120.
Thanks to Ria Han for smartly utilizing the cover of David Hinton's latest book, Hunger Mountain, to make a poster advertising this renowned translator/author/poet's talk at The Gunnery this coming Tuesday. That's in two days. That is just another sign of how quickly the spring term is proceeding. If you're reading this, please consider yourself invited to the talk, which will be in the same building as the school's dining hall, a dorm, and the Dean of Students' office. It's called Browne, and it's the first building on the left if you go in the main school gate. The talk begins at 1pm. For more information on David Hinton, click here.
Green Hill is a blog about whatever's on our minds, usually literature, translation, art, cinema, travel, teaching, and coffee.
Please note that work may not be republished without explicit permission.
Blog header photo by Dasha Zaporozhets.