February 17th, 2016
Poetry has a special place in my life. Ann Sexton was one of the poets I discovered early on and even had the opportunity to translate and the good fortune to have the translation published.
Sexton, a troubled soul whose encounters with the mental health system of her time were depicted in many poems, has a lot to teach about our profession, it's challenges and it's beauty.
Said The Poet To The Analyst
My business is words. Words are like labels,
or coins, or better, like swarming bees.
I confess I am only broken by the sources of things;
as if words were counted like dead bees in the attic,
unbuckled from their yellow eyes and their dry wings.
I must always forget how one word is able to pick
out another, to manner another, until I have got
something I might have said...
but did not.
Your business is watching my words. But I
admit nothing. I work with my best, for instances,
when I can write my praise for a nickel machine,
that one night in Nevada: telling how the magic jackpot
came clacking three bells out, over the lucky screen.
But if you should say this is something it is not,
then I grow weak, remembering how my hands felt funny
and ridiculous and crowded with all
the believing money.
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