On poetry (always)

My sleep schedule is all out of sorts. I left a twenty-hour-a-week-job — where the workday started at eight in the morning — for three part-time jobs that don’t start until eleven or twelve. I had grand morning plans: I’d wake up early, I’d eat a real breakfast. Maybe I’d ride my bike, or read for pleasure. But, it’s 11:36 right now. Yesterday — today? — I went to bed at 2:30 in the morning. I woke up around 9. So much for those grand plans.

My nights have been productive, though. And perhaps this is how graduate students function? I’ve been working — hard, and a lot, this semester — on an independent study. It’s been a fascinating process. And not just the research. I’ve learned a lot about who I am as a student: disorganized, for one, and a little jumpy. I’ve learned a lot about the way I work: kind of in a panic, right before deadline. And I’ve learned a lot about how to be better at both of those things: start earlier, and keep your notes in one place. (It’s week seven. I have a rough draft due on Friday. And, for the first time this semester, it’s already in progress. And I still have two days.)

The whole thing is a work in progress, but I think the end product is going to be something really special. (And, if it isn’t, it won’t be because I didn’t try.)
All that said: Mary Oliver released a new book of poetry today. I’ve read it cover-to-cover twice. Here’s my favorite from the new collection, Felicity:

Nothing Is Too Small Not to Be Wondered About

The cricket doesn’t wonder
if there’s a heaven
or, if there is, if there’s room for him.

It’s fall. Romance is over. Still, he sings.
If he can, he enters a house
through the tiniest crack under the door.
Then the house grows colder.

He sings slower and slower.
Then, nothing.

This must mean something, I don’t know what.
But certainly it doesn’t mean
he hasn’t been an excellent cricket
all his life.


One thought on “On poetry (always)

  1. You inspire me, Sam. I feel you on the stay up-sleep late schedule. I’m trying to find my rhythm post-NIH, and it’s hard not to sleep 14 hours a day. I can’t wait to see how your project unfolds!


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