"Soul"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 29 2011 7:08 AM

"Soul"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear David Ferry read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

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What am I doing inside this old man's body?
I feel like I'm the insides of a lobster,
All thought, and all digestion, and pornographic
Inquiry, and getting about, and bewilderment,
And fear, avoidance of trouble, belief in what,
God knows, vague memories of friends, and what
They said last night, and seeing, outside of myself,
From here inside myself, my waving claws
Inconsequential, waving, and my feelers
Preternatural, trembling, with their amazing
Troubling sensitivity to threat.
And I'm aware of and embarrassed by my ways
Of getting around, and my protective shell.
Where is it that she I loved has gone, as this
Sea water's washing over my shelly back?

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David Ferry is a poet, a translator of poetry, and a professor of English at Wellesley College.

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