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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

That's Amore, a post script

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.”

Those are the opening words to
A Grief Observed, the journal that English writer C. S. Lewis kept after the death of his wife.

“At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says.”

Grief does feel like fear. And despair. And anger, even at God.


I pick up the skirt,
I pick up the sparkling beads
in black,
this thing that moved once
around flesh,
and I call God a liar,
I say anything that moved
like that
or knew
my name
could never die
in the common verity of dying,
and I pick
up her lovely
all her loveliness gone,
and I speak to all the gods,
Jewish gods, Christ-gods,
chips of blinking things,
idols, pills, bread,
fathoms, risks,
knowledgeable surrender,
rats in the gravy of two gone quite mad
without a chance,
hummingbird knowledge, hummingbird chance,
I lean upon this,
I lean on all of this
and I know
her dress upon my arm
they will not
give her back to me.

~ Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), American poet and writer of novels and short stories

(A thank you note to Joan Moses, a reader of this blog, for pointing us to this poem.)

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