Monday, April 7, 2008

Poem of the Day

I get a daily poem in my email box. Some of them I love, some not so much. This one spoke to me, as therapy has always been of consequence in my life. Kenneth Koch captures it this way.

To Psychoanalysis

I took the Lexington Avenue subway
To arrive at you in your glory days
Of the Nineteen Fifties
when we believed
That you could solve any problem
And I had nothing but disdain
For "self-analysis" "group analysis" "Jungian analysis"
"Adlerian analysis" the Karen Horney kind
All—other than you, pure Freudian type—
Despicable and never to be mine!
I would lie down according to your
Dictates but not go to sleep.
I would free-associate.
I would say whatever
Came into my head.
GreatTroops of animals floated through
And certain characters like Picasso and Einstein
Whatever came into my head or my heart
Through reading or thinking or talking
Came forward once again in you. I took voyages
Down deep unconscious rivers, fell through fields,
Cleft rocks, went on through hurricanes and volcanoes.
Ruined cities were as nothing to me
In my fantastic advancing.
I recovered epochs,
Gold of former ages that melted in my hands
And became toothpaste or hazy vanished citadels.
I dreamed
Exclusively for you.
I was told not to make important decisions.
This was perfect.
I never wanted to.
On the Har-Tru surface of my emotions
Your ideas sank in so I could play again.
But something was happening.
You gave me an ideal
Of conversation—entirely about me
But including almost everything else in the world.
But this wasn't poetry
it was something else.
After two years of spending time in you
Years in which
I gave my best thoughts to you
And always felt you infiltrating
and invigorating my feelings
Two years at five days a week,
I had to give you up.
It wasn't my idea.
"I think you are nearly through,"Dr. Loewenstein said.
"You seem much better."
But, Light!Comedy! Tragedy! Energy! Science! Balance! Breath!
I didn't want to leave you.
I cried. I sat up.I stood up. I lay back down. I sat. I said
But I still get sore throats and have hay fever"
And some day you are going to die.
We can't cure everything.
I stood up like someone covered with light
As with paint, and said Thank you.
Thank you.
It was only one moment in a life,
my leaving you.
But once I walked out,
I could never think of anything seriously
For fifteen years
without also thinking of you.
Now what have we become?
You look the same,
but now you are a past You.
That's fifties clothing you're wearing.
You have some fifties ideas
Left—about sex, for example.
What shall we do?
Go walking?
We're liable to have a slightly frumpy look,
But probably no one will notice—
another something
I didn't know then.


Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

The only poetry I have ever "got", hence understood is the preschool rhyming kind of Dr. Seuss hahahah. I never got hicoup (sp) or non rhyming poetry. My son is gifted in that department but I don't know where he got it from because neither parent is that deep hahahahah.

k said...

It has always been one of my favorite things...but I was drawn to words first in my life. Mainly the written word as I was a quiet shy child and needed an outlet that was unobtrusive.
The cooking thing, which appears to be your glorious success of life, came later for me. It takes confidence to be a great cook, and you must step out there on the ledge and try flaor combinations and techniques that seem quite scary. I dated a couple of chefs and that is where I began to become confident. I cannot yet do what you do though! I guess that we all have our passions, some that grip us from the very beginning and others that sneak into our lives through newly opened doors.