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    Fishouse | 2/1/06 | 2 min
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    Fishouse
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    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      10 months ago

      I have portions of this poem committed to memory, because I've read it so many times. I love the first line, "I was wrong about oblivion then," and the repetition of oblivion, two more times, near the end. The poem itself induces oblivion.

      The first sentence that begins with "I could say" is beautiful beyond words. The second sentence that begins with "I could say" is insane and unspeakable. The combo is perfect. This was first published in 2006 and I hope people are still reading it five hundred years from now.

      • erica10 months ago

        Michael McGriff came to my English 92 class at Stanford and read this poem to us. I cried. The last five sentences blow my mind. I wish I could write like this.

        If my life has been a series of inadequacies, at least I know / by these great whirls of dust how beauty / and oblivion never ask permission of anyone.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          10 months ago

          I wish I could write like this.

          Of course you can! Go grab a pen and paper. Like, now. Humans built the pyramids, went to the moon. If you want to be a poet, put five or ten years into it, starting now, and then you’ll know if you have what it takes. Wild Geese and One Art didn’t just happen. People worked and worked and worked.

          Patience and focus, Time and attention, Work and love: The only two things that matter.