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Essay On The Personal Analysis

Author: poem of Stephen Dunn Type: poem Views: 8

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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.

Anonymous submission.


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