National Poetry Month Part iii

Poetry is a tough assignment for me…I’m a maximalist. I love long, convoluted sentences that explode with words and phrases and reiterate their own machinations endlessly. I slurp David Foster Wallace and William Faulkner and streams of erudite consciousnesses. So poetry is my least favorite literary pursuit.

That said, I’m taking this month to learn to place a single drop of linguistic effort on the tip of my tongue so it can dissolve there. The way we’re supposed to eat chocolate so that we enjoy it and really taste and savor and notice it.  Zen reading, these poems are. But try this one…

What would you fight for?

–D.H. Lawrence

I am not sure I would always fight for my life.

Life might not be worth fighting for.

I am not sure I would always fight for my wife.
A wife isn’t always worth fighting for.

Nor my children, nor my country, nor my fellow-men.
It all deprnds whether I found them worth fighting for.

The only thing men invariably fight for
Is their money. But I doubt if I’d fight for mine, anyhow
not to shed a lot of blood over it.

Yet one thing I do fight for, tooth and nail, all the time.
And that is my bit of inward peace, where I am at one
with myself.
And I must say, I am often worsted.

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