Poetry Friday – Abandoned Poems


In honor of Poetry Month, I offer a poem that is a huge favourite of mine, from Katha Pollitt.  Sometimes, you know, the best thing you can do is to put your writing aside and just walk away.  Not everything is worth revision!  Don’t let those poems dictate to you!  Abandon them!
                  ABANDONED POEMS
It’s awful how they look at you:  consumptives,
all eyes in their white beds,
coughing delicately into their handkerchiefs
and feebly hissing, Don’t leave us  here, you bastard,
this is your fault.  What can you do but agree?
It’s no use to harden your heart,
no use to explain why you had to save yourself,
still less to confess how happy you are without them,
how already you see yourself under the trees in the park:
you read the paper, you eat a ham sandwich,
then shake out the crumbs for the pigeons
and walk on, savoring
the mild autumnal air of your new country,
the kingdom of health and silence.
                                                            ——Katha Pollitt
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