Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Finished...

I just finished a book of poems—Special Orders by Edward Hirsch. I love his simple style.

From the publisher's website:

In Special Orders, the renowned poet Edward Hirsch brings us a new series of tightly crafted poems, work that demonstrates a thrilling expansion of his tone and subject matter. It is with a mixture of grief and joy that Hirsch examines what he calls “the minor triumphs, the major failures” of his life so far, in lines that reveal a startling frankness in the man composing them, a fearlessness in confronting his own internal divisions: “I lived between my heart and my head, / like a married couple who can’t get along,” he writes in “Self-portrait.” These poems constitute a profound, sometimes painful self-examination, by the end of which the poet marvels at the sense of expectancy and transformation he feels. His fifteen-year-old son walking on Broadway is a fledgling about to sail out over the treetops; he has a new love, passionately described in “I Wish I Could Paint You”; he is ready to live, he tells us, “solitary, bittersweet, and utterly free.”

Special Orders

Give me back my father walking the halls
of Wertheimer Box and Paper Company
with sawdust clinging to his shoes.

Give me back his tape measure and his keys,
his drafting pencil and his order forms;
give me his daydreams on lined paper.

I don't understand this uncontrollable grief.
Whatever you had that never fit,
whatever else you needed, believe me,

my father, who wanted your business,
would squat down at your side
and sketch you a container for it.