Poems

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 8 1998 3:30 AM

Poems

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To hear the poet read "Poems," click here.

I still write them.
I imagine them lying
to anxious friends wishing me
happiness at the end of my years.
I write in the dark, always
in a state of refusal, as if
I were paying a disagreeable debt,
a debt many years old.
No, there's no more pleasure
in this exercise. People tease me:
You thought you were making Art,
You wrote for Art's sake!

That's not it, I wanted something else.
You tell me if it was something more,
or less: I think one writes
to shake off an unbearable weight,
to pass it on to whoever comes after.
But there was always too much weight:
the poems aren't strong enough
if even I can't remember a line
by the next day.

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     --after Vittorio Sereni

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Gail Mazur's fifth book, Zeppo's First Wife: New & Selected Poems, won the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Figures in a Landscape, was published n 2011. She is distinguished writer in residence in the graduate program of Emerson College.

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