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July 30th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 115,441 comments.
Stephen Dunn - Essay On The Personal

Because finally the personal
is all that matters,
we spend years describing stones,
chairs, abandoned farmhouses—
until we're ready. Always
it's a matter of precision,
what it feels like
to kiss someone or to walk
out the door. How good it was
to practice on stones
which were things we could love
without weeping over. How good
someone else abandoned the farmhouse,
bankrupt and desperate.
Now we can bring a fine edge
to our parents. We can hold hurt
up to the sun for examination.
But just when we think we have it,
the personal goes the way of
belief. What seemed so deep
begins to seem naive, something
that could be trusted
because we hadn't read Plato
or held two contradictory ideas
or women in the same day.
Love, then, becomes an old movie.
Loss seems so common
it belongs to the air,
to breath itself, anyone's.
We're left with style, a particular
way of standing and saying,
the idiosyncratic look
at the frown which means nothing
until we say it does. Years later,
long after we believed it peculiar
to ourselves, we return to love.
We return to everything
strange, inchoate, like living
with someone, like living alone,
settling for the partial, the almost
satisfactory sense of it.

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Added: Feb 27 2003 | Viewed: 4454 times | Comments and analysis of Essay On The Personal by Stephen Dunn Comments (101)

Essay On The Personal - Comments and Information

Poet: Stephen Dunn
Poem: Essay On The Personal
Volume: New & Selected Poems 1974-1994
Year: Published/Written in 1994

Comment 101 of 101, added on July 30th, 2014 at 7:08 AM.

Im grateful for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...

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Comment 100 of 101, added on July 30th, 2014 at 5:27 AM.

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Comment 99 of 101, added on July 29th, 2014 at 7:00 AM.

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