Saturday, January 21, 2012
To Give It Up
I am not positive, but I think I bought this online. I have a vague recollection of having bought two or so books by Rehm after having been sent a review copy of Small Works. In fact, I think at the time I may have been working on my first book, which was comprised of all small work, and so was reading a lot of authors working in that vein.
As I mentioned the other day, I remember reading it in the basement offices of the Segue foundation in New York when I worked there as an archivist in the mid-nineties. I also remember how impressive it seemed that a young poet had a perfect bound book, had won the national poetry series, etc. There was a kind of aura around those books and authors then because there weren't so many of them.
It's hard to get that same feeling now because of the deluge of publications and prizes that have sprung up in the last decade or so. Not that I am complaining, just noting that some of the aura of being a "published" or "prize-winning" poet has worn off as a result. The words sound very different now.
from To Give It Up
For His Laments Upon A False Image
White upon white you knew him
ONly embarrassed, you questioned
His nobility for you had lost
All grip and radius from any
Center that you could not bow
Your head but faced him, asking
That he tell you exactly who he
Thought he was Oh how such
Pride tries a spirit's faith
The bloodless words that are
Couraged from pity will never find
A road to the City of Peace