Friday, July 9, 2010

what the bird with the human head knew

I went to the bird
with the human head,
and asked,
Please Sir,
where is God?

God is too busy
to be here on earth,
His angels are like one thousand geese assembled
and always flapping.
But I can tell you where the well of God is.

Is it on earth?
I asked.
He replied,
Yes. It was dragged down
from paradise by one of the geese.

I walked many days,
past witches that eat grandmothers knitting booties
as if they were collecting a debt.
Then, in the middle of the desert
I found the well,
it bubbled up and down like a litter of cats
and there was water,
and I drank,
and there was water,
and I drank.

Then the well spoke to me.

It said: Abundance is scooped from abundance,
yet abundance remains.

Then I knew.

~ Anne Sexton
(Few established poets nowadays have a background as non-spectacular as that of Anne Sexton (1928-1974), a mediocre student who neither went to college nor formally studied literature. For a time she worked as a fashion model. Emotional, impetuous, she even eloped at the age of 19.
Anne Sexton began falling to pieces in her early 20’s after the births of her two daughters. Her psychiatrist recommended writing poetry as a form of therapy; she took to the typewriter at the age of 26 and never looked back.)