Of Weeping


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Of Weeping
  3/2/14 8:18 AMOf Weeping | PlumePage 1 of 4http://plumepoetry.com/on-weeping/ Of Weeping Of Weeping  ~Daniel Bosch  First there is the weeping one weeps when one reads a good poem,And then—another weeping one weeps alone—there is the weepingOne weeps watching a movie in which some character’s faith is rewarded,A weeping not unlike the weeping one weeps when the car stereoPlays a certain song, and one may hold the wheel more tightly. There is also that weeping one weeps at the funeral of the father,Which one understands may look the same as—but is quite distinct from—The weeping one weeps at the graveside of the mother, assuming,Of course, one has remained close enough to one’s mother that one’sWeeping is not only still warranted, but entirely plausible and true. Certain Bach motets may induce weeping; so may Van der Weyden’s“Deposition,” and a sensitive one may even weep at the suppressionOf commas and other medial punctuation in sentences by DeLillo.  3/2/14 8:18 AMOf Weeping | PlumePage 2 of 4http://plumepoetry.com/on-weeping/ Many have wept into tissues passed to them by their therapistFollowing that doctor’s involuntary emission of an “Oh, my God.” One should never forget other people’s suffering, deserved or undeserved;How it, too—provided it is much greater than the suffering oneself Could, conceivably, have borne—may prompt a good weeping, and how,Oftentimes, having risen in the middle of the night, one may feelA weeping well up in the eyes as one paces, slowly, beside one’s bed. Once such a weeping has welled, that weeping may tend to swell, and,As if it were derived from a divisible source, and not from a single,Greater sadness, to rush, or to be felt by one as if it were rushing, over one,At first in a series of not very large sets that increase in frequency, and then,After a brief, uncontrollable surge of weeping, to pass in diminishing waves. These waves, even as they pass, may be so great, in number and in strength,That one may feel, as one weeps—as Auden put it, describing unfeelingPiers driven upright into coastal shelves—”pummeled by the waves,”And one’s wet weeping face, if any other one were there to look upon itIn the not-enough light, may appear to be covered with a mucoid glaze.   3/2/14 8:18 AMOf Weeping | PlumePage 3 of 4http://plumepoetry.com/on-weeping/ So it may be that one’s pillowcase, on both sides of one’s head, where one’sPillow may touch, just slightly, one’s ears, may be, by then, wet, wet, wet,Soaked because one pondered ancient Philoctete’s wound—which also wept—Or swamped on account of one’s consideration of blind, pus-weeping GloucesterHolding not-Edgar’s hand, at the not-brink of a not-cliff at not-Dover. What, one may ask, of that sweetly convulsive weeping one weeps too longAfter a fit of shared laughter has failed to die, and, fitfully, persists,Contracting one’s diaphragm and jerking forth from one yet a further gasp,Yet another flow one may wipe from one’s cheeks with the backs of bothBaby fists? Having wept such a weeping one knows to say only a little. There remains a more public and therefore more honest weeping, the weepingOne weeps as everyone comes and goes, while one prepares everyone’s dinner,One’s good blade busy in one’s right hand, one’s left hand pushing forward oneHalf of a medium onion, the other half of which weeps, already, forbearingDonne’s valediction to “  forbear to teach the sea what it may do too soon .”  Daniel Bosch’s  most recent book of poetry is Crucible . His poems, translations, essays, and book reviewshave appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, Slate, Contemporary Poetry Review, Western Humanities Review, The  3/2/14 8:18 AMOf Weeping | PlumePage 4 of 4http://plumepoetry.com/on-weeping/ Paris Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Shenandoah,  and many other journals. Recent work is due out soonin The Istanbul Review and  Slate .
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