Monday, December 11, 2006

Nocturnal



If animals think
about death,
do the nocturnal ones--
the lemur, for instance
or the raccoon--
consider it
a kind of light,
a glare
in the future, a place
where predators
arm themselves in God's
fluorescent shield?

Do they fear
a wilderness of light
the way we fear
the dark? I sleep
with lights burning
in the other room,
as if to fool
what lies ahead, owl-shaped
or prescient
as a bat, waiting
to smother me
in its nocturnal wings.

--Linda Pastan, Carnival Evening

8 comments:

Stefanie said...

Wow. That's a beautiful poem.

zhoen said...

I've heard that aboriginal peoples of the desert define Heaven as a cool place.

© 2003-2007 M-mv said...

You did a lovely job with the switch to beta, Susan.

And I love the poem.

MFS

SFP said...

I fear I'm going to want to quote the entire Pastan collection. I missed Pastan when she came to Charlotte a couple years ago and now I regret it.

Zhoen, are you familiar with James Dickey's Heaven for Animals? (Is that its title? I can't remember.) I love seeing heaven from an animal's perspective.

Picasa doesn't appear to be compatible with beta blogger, so I'm still experiencing some grief loading pics, but other than that, I'm happy with the new look and the training wheels approach to sidebar management!

iliana said...

Great pic to go with that poem. I don't know if I told you but I did get the Linda Pastan book after you had mentioned it a while back. Her poetry is beautiful. Thank you for such a great recommnedation. Totally off topic but your new blog look is great :)

SFP said...

Thanks!

verbivore said...

That is a lovely poem, I'm not familiar with Pastan but will definitely look for more of her work. I see you just finished The Echo Maker, I'd be curious to hear what you have to say about it.

SFP said...

The Echo Maker will be on my best of the year list for sure. I'm going to try to pull my thoughts together into a post on the book by the weekend.