Saturday, August 3, 2013

Low Country Questions

When we were children, my sister and I would ask one another the impossible question: If you had to, who would you kill? Mom or Dad? Neither! we'd scream, Neither!

If someone asked you whether you'd kill a terrorist who threatened your children (popped an olive in his mouth, an unsalted nut), what would you say (as you pull the plump mussel out of the lemon broth)? If  you toss and turn in bed all night, will those precious hours after sunrise seem heavy or deep and restful? Is the pen really mightier than the sword? Is your child's life worth more than mine? Is that child's life worth more than that one's? Or that one's? Would you send others to do your killing or would you hold them back and do it yourself?

Is Gubbinal about imagination and illusion or is there a world at all external to it?

That strange flower, the sun,
Is just what you say,
Have it your way.

The world is ugly
The people are sad.

That tuft of animal feathers.
That animal eye
Is just what you say.

That savage of fire.
That seed.
Have it your way.

The world is ugly.
The people are sad. 

Wallace Stevens


  1. Elizabeth, I do not think the south is good for you. Or at least, that part of it. That low country.

  2. This is a dark turn of mind. And yet, as always, the writing.

    Be well, dear Elizabeth.

  3. I love the food images sprinkled in there. Such questions to ruminate on. They feel like the low country.

  4. This is fabulous. It really has me thinking and I love the poetry. I read "Gubbinal" as a sort of shrug to those with pessimistic messages -- ok, fine, have it your way, but there's wild beauty all around us.



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