Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Poetry Feature--- The Time Around Scars by Michael Ondaatje

To preface this poem, I wanted to talk about why I'm doing this. I love poetry. In a way that my family will never understand, I love to read the way poets defy and create structure to bring out new meaning in words. It is my personal recommendation that everyone takes an intro to poetry class during their college career.
I searched through "The Cinnamon Peeler," an anthology written by one of my favorite poets, Michael Ondaatje. I wanted to discover something new to present to you tonight. I came across my old favorite and decided it might be better to start there. So here's a poem. Read it a few times. Let me know what you think.

The Time Around Scars- Michael Ondaatje 
A girl whom I’ve not spoken to
or shared coffee with for several years
writes of an old scar.
On her wrist it sleeps, smooth and white,
the size of a leech.
I gave it to her
brandishing a new Italian penknife.
Look, I said turning,
and blood spat onto her shirt.

My wife has scars like spread raindrops
on knees and ankles,
she talks of broken greenhouse panes
and yet, apart from imagining red feet,
(a nymph out of Chagall)
I bring little to that scene.
We remember the time around scars,
they freeze irrelevant emotions
and divide us from present friends.
I remember this girl’s face,
the widening rise of surprise.

And would she
moving with lover or husband
conceal or flaunt it,
or keep it at her wrist
a mysterious watch.
And this scar I then remember
is a medallion of no emotion.

I would meet you now
and I would wish this scar
to have been given with
all the love
that never occurred between us.

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