Friday, December 01, 2006

Pandora's Language

I haven't been writing much, so this morning I set myself the task of writing something that would work as a blog entry, and the only thing that seemed remotely inspiring was the list of my daughter Nora's favorite words which is included in the poem. I was initially going to call the poem "Her Favorite Objects" but somehow the image of Pandora's box kept creeping in as I was writing, and so I'm provisionally going to go with "Pandora's Language," just because it forced me to think a bit more about what I was saying about the things and words in the poem.

Pandora's Language

Her favorite objects are also her favorite
subjects, so she has learned them well:
box, birdie, fish, and bubble;
shoe, hat, apple and ball.

She bounces the box and unlaces the bubble,
wears the fish and chirps at the apple,
picks the birdie from a tree,
watches the hat swim in the sea,
bursts the shoe with a poking finger
closes the ball at the sign of danger—
she needs better words or a different world;
I can't tell which, because I'm old.

Her favorite subjects must renew
themselves in objects like clothes or clocks:
ball, hat, apple, and shoe,
bubble, fish, birdie, and box.

I suppose I'm picturing Pandora before she lets the chaos of the box loose on the world (after all, she mistakes a ball for the box here). The myth lets me play around with the otherwise slightly cloying list of words and discover some hidden sinister or merely inevitable significance here, but I'm not sure how it works for the reader.

So this poem is less than an hour old, and I'm letting it loose already. Perhaps I have a bit of Pandora in me.


Post a Comment

<< Home