Friday, March 18, 2011

A poem as blessed breathing room

On some level poems can, of course, do good works and bind us together. Everybody will tell you about that, but I'm never very interested. I'm convinced, rather, that poems bind us apart. They disconnect us from that pestering illusion that we are almost connecting to the world.

Oh, what can that mean? Well, we are alone, and poems make us more alone. But wait, I don't mean "alone" in the bad way, what we feel when we know that spending all the money in the world isn't going to keep the shimmer on life; I mean "alone" in the good way.

Alone in the sense of experiencing inside yourself a cascading series of exquisite discriminations and connections which leave you in the fullest possible possession of your self while simultaneously providing the most intimate escape from self, as though the twisted double helixes of your secret code got some blessed breathing room from each other for a minute.

- Kay Ryan



    This is precisely why that "alone" video on Youtube didn't work for me. There's a magical "twisted double helix" that isn't anchored to romance or job or abode -it's more spiritual. Thank you for this beautiful quote. I love your blog.

  2. If this double helix metaphor were applied psychoanalytically would you consider the base pairing as our ego, and the double helix as secondary structure comprised of our id and superego. The ego is freed because poetry distracts from the external world leaving you in “possession”. We then have no mediator, which is the “ego” meaning “I” in Greek. Hence, the ego is freed is also I am freed, which is escapism.

  3. :) So beautiful! Yes!

    To me, the alone feels like experiencing what is, as we alone feel it, but connected to everything that we're experiencing.