Happy New Year

This is the second post I’ve ever blogged, yesterday’s post being the first, except maybe when I blogged for the New York Times a few times, but they just call it blogging, it’s not really.

I’m posting this poem as a New Years poem for my fellow Red-Sea-Pedestrians; for those of us who live like fish, scholastically, it is a poem for the new academic year; for the rest of my fellow Mericans, it is for autumn; for the international readership, look, we’re doing the best that we can.

Zoo Review

To begin is to let things out of control.
The park’s caged condor stumbles to the fore.
The mind can not be told what it does not know.

Let us begin by calling a massive bird a soul;
each wing wide as the height of a man or more.
To begin is to help things out of control

with a clasp of fence in beak and a forceful fold
of what was given, then out the rifted door.
The mind must graze what it can not hold.

If the population of the park took up a goal
of leaving, it wouldn’t stop to wonder where to go.
To begin is to chase thoughts out of control.

Likewise, as love and birth have come to show,
much can not be seen before we are ashore
where minds find what, at sea, they did not know.

The bird adjusts its shoulder-feathers like a stole,
a bristling cape, a heft of flight, a height left low.
To begin is to let things out of control.
The mind can not be told what it does not know.

 

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About jennifermichaelhecht

I'm a poet with a PhD in the History of Science from Columbia University and I've written five books, two poetry, two popular philosophy, one intellectual history. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two little kids. I teach seminars in poetry in the MFA programs at The New School and at Columbia.
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