Sad Poets Society #5
Confronting darkness with Linda Pastan
Let this month’s meeting of the Sad Poets Society commence. Today we’ll be discussing “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?” by Linda Pastan. Let’s get into it.
Why Are Your Poems so Dark?
BY LINDA PASTAN
Isn't the moon dark too, most of the time? And doesn't the white page seem unfinished without the dark stain of alphabets? When God demanded light, he didn't banish darkness. Instead he invented ebony and crows and that small mole on your left cheekbone. Or did you mean to ask "Why are you sad so often?" Ask the moon. Ask what it has witnessed.
Since starting this project, the Sad Poets Society, I've begun looking at poetry differently. I read a lot of it, whether in books or newsletters or general perusal of the Internet. Every time I read a poem, I wonder: Would this fit the Sad Poets Society? When the answer is "yes," it's often something I wish I'd written myself. This one, in particular, feels like something that could have come from my mind; it's an answer to a question I've received many times. The next time someone asks why my poems are so dark, I will sing them this song.
If you've previously joined us here at the Sad Poets Society or read any of my poetry, you'll know I'm a sucker for moon imagery. I've saved many poems to discuss here, but this one jumped the queue with its moon bookends. The moon answers both the title's query and the real question asked at the poem's end.
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