The Marginalian
The Marginalian

Spell Against Indifference: A Poem

I was a latecomer to poetry — an art form I did not understand and, as we tend to do with what we do not understand, discounted. But under its slow seduction, I came to see how it shines a sidewise gleam on the invisible and unnameable regions of being where the truest truths dwell, the most difficult and the most beautiful; how it sneaks in through the backdoor of consciousness to reveal us more fully to ourselves; how it gives us an instrument for paying attention, which is how we learn to love the world more.

When I first began writing poetry, it was privately, almost secretly, certainly shyly. But I have come to see that while poetry may be a language for the silent places in us, it is also a language of connection — a way of finding the intimate in the universal and the universal in the intimate — and so it is meant to be shared.

In that spirit, and with immense gratitude to my poetry teachers — Marie Howe and Ellen Bass — here is a poem.

by Maria Popova

The rain falls and falls
cool, bottomless, and prehistoric
falls like night —
not an ablution
not a baptism
just a small reason
to remember
all we know of Heaven
to remember
we are still here
with our love songs and our wars,
our space telescopes and our table tennis.

Here too
in the wet grass
half a shell
of a robin’s egg
blue as a newborn star
fragile as a world.

Published August 20, 2023




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