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John Keats -- J D Salinger

Guest poem sent in by Pavithra Krishnan
(Poem #1500) John Keats
 John Keats
 John Keats
 Please put your scarf on.
-- J D Salinger
          (From "Seymour An Introduction")

You know it's a good poem when you reach the quiet end and find something's
taken your breath away and left a knot in your throat instead. Couldn't Not
send this in after the Cullen's poem [Poem #1497]. His lines read wrenching,
read like they've been ripped from the dramatic depths of a poet's passion-
and pain.  This poem by contrast is more like a child tugging at your coat
sleeve.  Filled with persistence and a very vulnerable power. This is a poem
written by Seymour aged 8 and we only learn of its existence through Buddy,
his brother (both of them members of the Glass family created by J. D.

Seymour is an unusual child who grows up to be an unusual man and this
particular poem is just a throwaway detail in a book full of throwaway
details that for some reason you don't throw away, but stop at suddenly-
because they are saying so much that you almost didn't hear and they make
you wonder what else in your world might be saying crucial things that you
are drowning out in a profusion of detail. But what got me then and what
gets me now is the stark simplicity of this poem's understated pleading and
its tender tardiness, and sure I know that it's Salinger and not Seymour who
wrote it, but the thought of the thought of this poem in the head of an 8
year old child...

And suddenly I am sad inside, really sad for the first time for a boy-man
named John, John Keats who loved beauty and who wrote its truth, and who
died of tuberculosis when he was 25.




68 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ajit Narayanan said...

Sometimes, the commentary is poetry too...


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