Poetry Wednesday

pollitt poemsThe Mind-Body Problem (2009)
Katha Pollitt
96 pages

Last week as I was browsing through my local library, I came across Katha Pollitt’s latest work, a volume of poetry entitled The Mind-Body Problem. So far this poem is my favorite,

The Mind-Body Problem

When I think of my youth I feel sorry not for myself
but for my body. It was so direct
and simple, so rational in its desires,
wanting to be touched the way an otter
loves water, the way a giraffe
wants to amble the edge of the forest, nuzzling
the tender leaves at the tops of the trees. It seems
unfair, somehow, that my body had to suffer
because I, by which I mean my mind, was saddled
with certain unfortunate high-minded romantic notions
that made me tyrannize and patronize it
like a cruel medieval baron, or an ambitious
English-professor husband ashamed of his wife-
her love of sad movies, her budget casseroles
and regional vowels. Perhaps
my body would have liked to make some of our dates,
to come home at four in the morning and answer my scowl
with “None of your business!” Perhaps
it would have liked more presents: silks, mascaras.
If we had had a more democratic arrangment
we might even have come, despite our different backgrounds,
to a grudging respect for each other, like Tony Curtis
and Sidney Poitier fleeing handcuffed together,
instead of the current curious shift of power
in which I find I am being reluctantly
dragged along by my body as though by some
swift and powerful dog. How eagerly
it plunges ahead, not stopping for anything,
as though it knows exactly where we are going.

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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7 Responses to Poetry Wednesday

  1. Nymeth says:

    I need to get my hands on this book!

  2. sagustocox says:

    Wow, this sounds like a fantastic book. thanks for the poem.

  3. Vasilly says:

    Nymeth: LOL! I was so surprised to see this when I was at the library. I’m loving almost every poem.

    Serena: It is a fantastic book.

  4. Care says:

    yea. I get it, I get it. Good poem.

  5. Carrie K. says:

    I haven’t read any poetry in a long while – I’m off to the library site to see if they have this.

  6. Carrie K. says:

    Sigh – my library doesn’t have it.🙂

  7. Eva says:

    I LOVE this poem-thanks for sharing it Vasilly!

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