A Dark Wood

November 29, 2008
By David Vance, Hartland, WI

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Che la diritta via era smarrita
A dark wood filled with blueberry and cinnamon
Fireplaces, and tables with coffee stains.
Bright green and purple specials,
Sipping on cups and clicking on keyboards.

A man, not Everyman, but a man
Flipping through manila folders, scribbling in margins.
Indecisiveness in HAMLET. Jack Burden. 12/21/12.
Human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out
Tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars.
They are not the only ones; it is a universal burden.
Alone -- do you know what that is?

He looked up.
A man, a woman, open shirts, closed eyes, parted
Lips on cheap plastic binding.
Another -- a boy, a black, a raft, a river,
One, two, three, flip, one, two, three, flip.
Ahab is a forgotten captain, Dante a forgotten pilgrim,
Anna a forgotten adulteress, Henry a forgotten king.

Madness were easy to bear compared with truth like this;
One hour to madness and joy! O furious! O confine me not!
Much madness is divinest sense;
And Great Wits are sure to Madness near ally’d,
And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide;
And his throat ached with a desire to cry aloud --
Which his lips withheld cleft his brain.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer?
Devoutly to be wish’d to die, - to sleep; -
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come.
To be, or not to be: that is the question.
To be,
Because funerals are always quiet and pretty,
But deaths not always.

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This article has 1 comment.

arvna said...
on Jan. 13 2009 at 3:02 pm
that was deep real deep this poem is so awesome and i respect dat man that is just the coolest thing i ever read


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