From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —
Edgar Allen Poe, "Alone", written when the poet was only 20 years old.
When I talk to my friends I pretend I am standing on the wings
of a flying plane. I cannot be trusted to tell them how I am.
Or if I am falling to earth weighing less
than a dozen roses. Sometimes I dream they have broken up
with their lovers and are carrying food to my house.
When I open the mailbox I hear their voices
like the long upward-winding curve of a train whistle
passing through the tall grasses and ferns
after the train has passed. I never get ahead of their shadows.
I embrace them in front of moving cars. I keep them away
from my miseries because to say I am miserable is to say I am like them.
How I am, a poem by Jason Shinder.
Copyright© 2005 by Jason Shinder. First published in The American Poetry Review, November/December 2005.
An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
If a door is shut and you want it shut,
why open it?
If a door is open and you want it open,
why shut it?
Doors forget but only doors know what it is
Doors a poem by Carl Sandburg, from The Sandburg Range.