April 18, 2005


I wanted to begin by saying thank you, everyone, for responding so much recently. I'm glad you enjoy my writing, and I regret that I can't spend more time on it. I promise to write much more once my thesis is done (except for that week's vacation after graduation, which I happen to think I richly deserve!).

Meanwhile, here's another poem. This is what's known as a "found poem," which is a bit postmodern in concept. A found poem is some text which originally appears in some prosaic form (a newspaper article, a shopping list, etc.) and is borrowed and transformed by the writer into verse. This poem was "found" in William James' book, The Varieties of Religious Experience.


This is an example
of what you have already
heard of as the 'expulsive
power of a higher affectation.'

He tells of an inundation in India
where an eminence with a bungalow
upon it remained unsubmerged,
and became the refuge of a number
of wild animals and reptiles
in addition to the human beings
who were there.

At a certain moment a royal
Bengal tiger appeared swimming
towards it, reached it, and lay
panting like a dog upon the ground

in the midst of the people,
still possessed by such an agony

of terror that one of the Englishmen
could calmly step up
and blow out its brains.


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