Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beaver Moon - The Suicide of a Friend

This poem resonates very deeply with me. It is the story of our times, the story of so many lives I read about in the papers every day, and flinch. I can imagine all their last desperate attempts to reach out, to be drawn into the fold, to be held. Oh, their open hands.

I have noticed that if I ever say I am not okay, in a mail, the chances are I will not hear from that person again. The world wants you only as long as you are entertaining. As the famous poem goes, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone."  I could send a genuine suicide note and the response will be a) silence b) "Oh Asha, you write so beautifully!" :) :)   It is immensely liberating to know that I will be allowed to go, without anyone trying to foil the attempt :)

Beaver Moon - The Suicide of a Friend
Mary Oliver

When somewhere life
breaks the pane of glass,
and from every direction casual
voices are bringing you the news,
you say: I should have known.
You say: I should have been aware.

That last Friday he looked
so ill, like an old mountain-climber
lost on the white trails, listening
to the ice breaking upward, under
his worn-out shoes. You say:

I heard rumors of trouble, but after all
we all have that. You say:
What could I have done? and you go
with the rest, to bury him.

That night, you turn in your bed
to watch the moon rise, and once more
see what a small coin it is
against the darkness, and how everything else
is a mystery, and you know
nothing at all except
the moonlight is beautiful-
white rivers running together
along the bare boughs of the trees-

and somewhere, for someone, life
is becoming moment by moment

From 'Twelve Moons', Poems by Mary Oliver

1 comment:

Dancing Palmtrees said...

I recall a poem with a similar subject years ago.

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Edwin Arlington Robinson

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