Sunday, January 02, 2011

Your Sunday Poem

This is Thomas Lux, from his new book of poetry, “God Particles.” He’s a new poet to me, sharp, funny, fierce and I look forward to getting acquainted with his work.

The General Law of Oblivion,

Mr. Proust called it; the beloved gone so long
you forget what he/she looks like,
no matter portraits, photos, or memory,
which is the best tool for forgetting.
Though one cannot deny
its genius, Mr. Proust’s prose
kills me, it loops
me over and out. Is it just French novelists
who don’t know how to end
a sentence and so love the semicolon (“ the period
that leaks”) they can’t write two lines
without one? And I am so goddamned tired
of hearing about that cookie!
As if he were the first (first fish were!) to notice
the powers of the olfactory! But
about the General Law of Oblivion
he had it zeroed” “It breaks my heart
that I am gong to forget you,” he said
in a last letter to a friend.
The length and music of that sentence
is perfect, in English or in French.


Anne R. Allen said...

"The period that leaks"--brilliant. Fascinating as a poem and a piece of literary criticism. Thanks for this!

Alon Perlman said...

But not necessarily accessible; it sent me looking at Proust.

So.. How do I get my time back? and how will I regain my lost memories of Paris; when I can't remember what a lemony sponge cake smells like?

I can almost smell Pan Chocolade and see Nice, though.