Sunday, April 14, 2013

Your Sunday Poem

This one is for anyone who says poetry is too difficult, too dour, too stuffy.  By Paul Violi, from "180 More, Extraordinary Poems for Every Day," edited by Billy Collins.

Appeal to the Grammarians

We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we're capsized.
We, who love precise language,
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time we're ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift,
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice
Give way underfoot, we deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn't bounce back,
The flat tire at journey's outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehauken.
But mainly because I need it -- here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him, "See, that's why
I don't like to eat outside."

1 comment:

Alon Perlman said...

Oddly, though this was written published in 2007, and was well received even before the 180 compilation, there already was and is a way to express emotions, by letter equivalents in text. Even green disgust for contaminated dessert. They don’t have the servile surliness of a cédille or the aloof uberletter superiority of the Umlaut, but they do exist.

The easy availability of emoticons, actually having prepackaged symbols to append to inane messages, is exactly why we need poetry.

(Smiley face goes here)