Friday, September 7, 2012

Poetry Friday--Before I Die

Here's an untitled poem from For Paul and Other Poems, in Collected Works by Lorine Niedecker:
The death of my poor father
leaves debts
and two small houses.

To settle this estate
a thousand fees arise--
I enrich the law.

Before my own death is certified,
recorded, final judgement

taxes taxed
I shall own a book
of old Chinese poems

and binoculars
to probe the river

Simple wishes, hopefully obtained.

If you haven't viewed the "Before I Die" project of Candy Chang, be sure to visit it here. I'd like to think that most people's wishes can be fulfilled if they make an effort.

Katya is today's Round-Up host at Write. Sketch. Repeat.


Author Amok said...

It's a beautiful poem, Diane. I love the detail in those desired objects. The binoculars of desire -- the wanting makes them feel so grand.

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks, Laura. Before I die, I'd like a good camera with a long lens so I can probe the trees and catch close-ups of birds. (I love birds, but I can never tell which ones are singing which songs.)

I'm Jet . . . said...

So much good about this post, Diane!


Thanks, Janet!

Liz Steinglass said...

I love the two very specific wishes. They give a real sense of the speaker and are such a contrast to the father. I watched Candy Chang's TED talk just last night. It made me wish for a school with a wall full of answers to the question: what I really want to know is...

Fats Suela from Gathering Books said...

Simple wishes, indeed! Thanks for sharing this simple poem with a strong message. Also, thank you for sharing Candy Chang's Before I Die project. It's very inspiring. :)

Diane Mayr said...

Everyone can do a small-scale project--just stick a piece of paper to your bathroom mirror. Add a question, leave a pencil, and see what your family comes up with!