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Bearhug -- Michael Ondaatje

Guest poem sent in by Alan DeMello
(Poem #1326) Bearhug
 Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
 I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
 then something else, walk slowly round
 the corner to my son's room.
 He is standing arms outstretched
 waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

 Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
 give it that dark squeeze of death?
 This is the hug which collects
 all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
 The thin tough body under the pyjamas
 locks to me like a magnet of blood.

 How long was he standing there
 like that, before I came?
-- Michael Ondaatje
This poem could be the poster-child for Deconstruction, it lends itself so
well. Everytime you think you have them all, another binary hits you in the
face, or skirts across your mind's eye. I haven't ever read anything else by
Ondaatje, but Bearhug makes me want to.

Alan

Links:

 Biography:
   http://mtmt.essortment.com/biographyofmac_rqzo.htm

 Collection of Ondaatje links:
   http://www.cariboo.bc.ca/ae/engml/friedman/ondaatje.htm

50 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Deepak Srinivasan said...

i scanned this poem because recently by chance i read parts of
micahel's "English Patient" and "Anils ghost". I think English Patient
got the bookers prize. While I find his prose work vaguely irritating
this poem was very good. Except that humorously,
how different his perception of bearhug and mine is. For me, mostly,
a bearhug reminds me of the "bare necessities" from jungle book(cartoon version),
one of my favorite disney movies and a thoroughly dreamy, utopian vision.
/Deepak

Jay Watts said...

As a parent, single and a poet, this one has special meaning to my son and
I.
I believe it should be shared with all parents. We all chreish that hug and
sometimes are more reluctant to let go than our child is.

Keep up the great work. Only one small suggestion/request- have someone
spell-check.

jw

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Although Michael Ondaatje is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work has also includes autobiography, poetry and film, I think that this poem is one of his best one!!22dd

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hahah sounds like the love that you will never got... very depressing...

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Very good poem, first time that i rad something about this writer.

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