Our Lost Feelings

Walking Chicago streets is not as conducive to internalizing poems as a walk in the mountains. It’s been a good lesson adapting. The city light in the videos recorded irk me, highlighting my waddle, there are people everywhere, talking and traffic and sirens and no birdsong. Still it’s good to step outside perceived requirements for accomplishing a task, and do it anyway.

It’s been amusing turning heads as I stroll alleys, picking up garbage, reciting; I truly look like a crazy person.

The poem may sound cynical, but I don’t think that’s Merwin’s intent. I think he hears and honors the thank you in each moment. This week’s recitation, Thanks, by W.S. Merwin speaks more eloquently than I can these days of where my head is at.

Happy hump day; remain grateful.

This entry was posted in expatriate life, I recite, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , by vsvevg. Bookmark the permalink.

About vsvevg

Hello, I'm Abby Smith. I started this blog in 2010 to write about the pursuit of a self-sustainable life in rural Mexico. In 2015, my then-husband and I moved to Nicaragua, where we created a successful farm-to-table and in-house charcuterie program for a high-end beach resort. In 2022, with mad butchery and cheese-making skills under my belt, I started a sustainable food systems consulting business. Happily, I also have more time for my first love-- writing about food and the complexities of the simple life.

9 thoughts on “Our Lost Feelings

  1. I do not know where to begin. First of all “Thank you” for sharing. Mostly I find Merwin’s “Thanks” thought provoking in so many layers. Some of those instances of thanks I must admit are very difficult to justify. Thought provoking indeed.

  2. It is a challenging poem, it had me in tears many times as I was memorizing it. One of the reasons I was drawn to the poem, was that I realized I’d had so many of the negative experiences, the police at the door, the beating on the stairs(not me).
    I experience, as we all do, the constant horror of our world of war and abuse and destruction. I believe the will to be grateful is a part of what keeps us human. “Dark though it is.” Peace to you David.

  3. What a powerful poem, especially those last lines. Thank you for introducing it to me – and for introducing me to the author. I also like the image of you walking the streets of Chicago, collecting garbage for your art, reciting the poem – brilliant.

    • It’s funny I had heard of Merwin for many years, but never read him, then I found this poem and it really sideswiped me in a way…maybe it was being out of my natural element too. I felt some how grounded by the poem and the dirt in the alleys, walking with the homeless and their grocery carts, we were saying thank you, thank you…

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