Monday, September 01, 2008

I love this

I stumbled across Grace Paley's last collection of poems the last time I was at the's a beautiful reflection on love, loss, aging, being a wife and a mother and a human being and reconciling the three with varying degrees of success. It was published posthumously early this year, after her death last summer....this is one that just resonated with me.

why shouldn't men look at women
and women look at men
and women look at women
and men look at men
why shouldn't they
size each other up (as
we used to say)

why isn't there more
of that looking that
casual catching of
breath in plain
appreciation or rejection why
isn't there more of it what
old people sometimes ex-
perienced as shock and a
dangerous heartbeat which
sometimes erupted into
love at first sight (as
it is called to this day)
and as old people we must
warn it may once in a startling
while last forever (as it
is called)

I dabble in poetry, but man, do I wish I could write like that. (The book is called Fidelity.)

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