Sunday, August 23, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Almost Unbearable” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Almost Unbearable” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month.  Ms. Hamilton will also be serving as the guest judge for the Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which will run from September 1 to October 15, 2015.  A detailed biography of Ms. Hamilton may be found here:  The contest guidelines may be previewed here:

              Almost Unbearable

Orpheus & Eurydice
             The cold,  she said,
a riff on pain
    or where arrow enters,
                        another the dangled flesh
of dismemberment,
                           the chasm too deep and black
   to swallow
 when love is ripped off.
    Today I’ll pull up
  the tomatoes
before the frost
     desiccates those pushy, virile vines
  that flowered yellow
       just days ago.
     We’re all brought low.

 The Jerusalem artichokes
                             have fallen like trees
                         in the forest,
                         sap-stopped and top heavy.
      The buried roots will nourish later
though light slips away
every, every single day
      and I sit, ever
            on the cusp of nothingness.

     Once more Orpheus has begun
                                his long climb
                                to the surface
         even as his shaky faith
rides his back,
devours his trust,
 the one reason we must learn
   to lie.
                  There on that aperture’s rim
                  wait I.

Carol Hamilton

Poet’s Notes:  There are always the stories of loss of paradise, as well, of loss of love for lack of faith, loss of the abundance of the year. The poem is scattered on the page as our histories of gain and loss are scattered about throughout our lives. We must share all the stories. This is not necessarily a neat and tidy thing.

Editor’s Note:  I enjoy the way this poem comes full circle, with the allusion to the mythical Orpheus in the first stanza and the direct reference to it in the last.  A nice summary of the myths surrounding Orpheus may be found here: 

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