They Accuse Me of Not Talking
North people known for silence. Long
dark of winter. Norrland families go
months without talking, Eskimos also,
except bursts of sporadic eerie song.
South people different. Right and wrong
all crystal there and they squabble, no
fears, though they praise north silence. “Ho,”
they say, “look at them deep thinkers, them strong
philosophical types, men of peace.”
notice please of what happens. Winter on the brain.
You’re literate, so words are what you feel.
Then you’re struck dumb. To which love can you speak
the words that mean dying and going insane
and the relentless futility of the real?
Hayden Carruth on his own poetry: “My poems, I think, exist in a state of tension between the love of natural beauty and the fear of natural meaninglessness or absurdity”.
Hayden Carruth, American poet, (1921-2008). Won the Pulitzer Prize for Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey in 1996.