Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let the Record Show

I found this poem in The New Yorker, and I really enjoyed it. Unlike other poems I find in that magazine, I immediately connected with this one. I think I even chuckled to myself after I read it the first time.

This poem is exactly how I like poems: it's quick and simple. It's pretty much to the point, and the message is pretty clear. I found it rather amusing because I'm sure we've all had days like this. Enjoy.

Let the Record Show

by Dora Malech

I spent the morning trying to remember
the joke about a peanut and assault.
People dropped bombs on each other elsewhere.
I knew that many of them were at fault

and many blameless. I kept my office locked
and the lights off. The phone just kept ringing.
I didn't answer. Nor when someone knocked.
I was supposed to be doing something.

I'm sure we've all had these moments. Or days. Or months. Some days the brain just isn't as "on" or "focused," even for the smallest details that we can't piece together in our minds.

I like this setting that is painted for us: the person locked away in the office pretending to be busy but really pondering something that doesn't really matter. We all have lives like this. I also like how the poet describes how greater matters are going on--wars--yet here we sit in our quiet solitude contemplating such trivial affairs. I loved the connection and the paralellism.

I just think of college when work is supposed to be done, we're supposed to be doing something, but we're really not. In this case, the adult is pretending to be involved yet refuses to take phone calls or be bothered. When not responding, others assume that the person is too busy to take the response, but sometimes, we really aren't at all. Sometimes people just need a personal moment; other times, we just need to reflect on something in life (be it a joke that we can't remember). Sometimes we just need quiet (believe it or not) even if it falls within work hours. That's what I enjoyed "Let the Record Show."

What do you think of the poem?

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