You Have Harnessed Yourself Ridiculously to This World

By Lucie Brock-Broido b. 1956 Lucie Brock-Broido
Tell the truth I told me                                When I couldn’t speak.

Sorrow’s a barbaric art, crude as a Viking ship                Or a child

Who rode a spotted pony to the lake away from summer

In the 1930s                                       Toward the iron lung of polio.

According to the census I am unmarried                And unchurched.

                                    The woman in the field dressed only in the sun.

Too far gone to halt the Arctic Cap’s catastrophe, big beautiful

Blubbery white bears each clinging to his one last hunk of  ice.

I am obliged, now, to refrain from dying, for as long as it is possible.

For whom left am I first?

                                                          We have come to terms with our Self

Like a marmoset getting out of  her Great Ape suit.

Source: Poetry (October 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2013
 Lucie  Brock-Broido

Biography

Lucie Brock-Broido was born in Pittsburgh, was educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia University, and has taught at Bennington, Princeton, Harvard (where she was a Briggs-Copeland poet), and Columbia. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as awards from the American Poetry Review and the Academy of American Arts and Letters.

In an interview with Carol Maso for BOMB magazine in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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