Friday, April 17, 2015

A Fiery Glee

At the faery paradise of the Farnworth Farm in Northern California
you never know what you are going to see, but it is always terrific!
This was several years ago in springtime; I hope to get back soon!

The Resemblance Between Your Life and a Dog

I never intended to have this life, believe me—
It just happened. You know how dogs turn up
At a farm, and they wag but can’t explain.

It’s good if you can accept your life—you’ll notice
Your face has become deranged trying to adjust
To it. Your face thought your life would look

Like your bedroom mirror when you were ten.
That was a clear river touched by mountain wind.
Even your parents can’t believe how much you’ve changed.

Sparrows in winter, if you’ve ever held one, all feathers,
Burst out of your hand with a fiery glee.
You see them later in hedges. Teachers praise you,

But you can’t quite get back to the winter sparrow.
Your life is a dog. He’s been hungry for miles,
Doesn’t particularly like you, but gives up, and comes in.

Robert Bly

The Oxford Book of American Poetry; edited by David Lehman,
Oxford University Press, 2006, page 744.

Oh, that Robert Bly! Five three-line stanzas of philosophy and a sparrow! I don't know what to say about this poem, other than that it really tickles me. I never intended to have this life. . . 

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