Tuesday, December 16, 2008


by Dan Chiasson

I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am
frayed where it would be highly useful—
and this I feel perpetually—to make a point.

I think if I can concentrate I might turn sharp.
Only, I don’t know how to concentrate—
I know only the look of someone concentrating,
indistinguishable from nearsightedness.

It is hard for you to be near me,
my silly intensity shuffling
all the insignia of interiority.
Knowing me never made anyone a needle.

Source: The New Yorker


Maria Sondule said...

This is a very sophisticated poem. (or maybe I'm just dumb) I don't think thread is a bad thing though. I like the image of someone concentrating- it makes me think of my grandmother trying to see the eye of the needle.
I do think that this poem is a metaphor for something, but I can't really pick it out.

changetheworld360 said...

Yes, there is a metaphor here. The thread represents a sort of focus on one point or thought, which is always hard for our erratic brains. At least, that's the main metaphor; there's obviously a deeper underlying theme here. I like it and wish I could write poetry like that.

Zany said...

You're not dumb :), as you pointed out there is a metaphor here. The amazing thing about poetry is that it has myriad of meanings and metaphors, which change with time.

I like the metaphor you pointed out.
For me, the thread represents our life. It is obscure and bunched up together and we unwind it slowly and slowly...