Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Coming to This

Coming to This
by Mark Strand

We have done what we wanted.
We have discarded dreams, preferring the heavy industry
of each other, and we have welcomed grief
and called ruin the impossible habit to break.

And now we are here.
The dinner is ready and we cannot eat.
The meat sits in the white lake of its dish.
The wine waits.

Coming to this
has its rewards: nothing is promised, nothing is taken away.
We have no heart or saving grace,
no place to go, no reason to remain.

This poem seems really depressing. The first line contrasts with the rest of the poem. It sets us up for what we think will be a bright, cheerful poem, and then jumps right into the idea of discarded dreams. For me, this poem is really hard to understand, but that is part of it's appeal. I think that it is saying that as life weathers us we let go of our dreams, and become content with what is. We lower our limits, tighten our boundaries, and eventually settle on a way of life. Having nowhere to go, and no reason to stay, we find simple idleness that causes us not to care and become rather unemotional creatures of habit. I suppose one could generalize and say that nobody goes through life with no regrets, but eventually we become numb to the things that pass us up, and simply accept and are comfortable in life as it is. This is a rather dark view on things, lending from the dark tone in the piece. An interesting, yet difficult to understand poem.

1 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

For some reason this reminded me of a divorce, or maybe a couple becoming emotionally apart. It is pretty depressing nonetheless.

7:47 PM  

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