Back and forth and back again

Recently I have been thinking a lot about Raymond Carver, my favourite poet.

He died in 1988, aged just 50. Having beaten alcoholism, it seems somehow even sadder that he died from lung cancer.

Many of his poems feel like brief moments of illumination, fragmentary epiphanies; or fleeting hints of unfiltered emotions.

They are how it feels when you stop and everything goes quiet, and for a second you know that this is just how it is.

This is one of my favourites:

Happiness

So early it's still almost dark out. 
I'm near the window with coffee, 
and the usual early morning stuff 
that passes for thought. 

When I see the boy and his friend 
walking up the road 
to deliver the newspaper. 

They wear caps and sweaters, 
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder. 
They are so happy 
they aren't saying anything, these boys. 

I think if they could, they would take 
each other's arm. 
It's early in the morning, 
and they are doing this thing together. 

They come on, slowly. 
The sky is taking on light, 
though the moon still hangs pale over the water. 

Such beauty that for a minute 
death and ambition, even love, 
doesn't enter into this. 

Happiness. It comes on 
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really, 
any early morning talk about it.
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1 Response to “Back and forth and back again”


  1. 1 Tim February 19, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    I like it. I will have to have a look at some Raymond Carver. Never heard of him until now!

    Hope the sad things stop happening… or more correctly I should say… if there’s anything I can do to help then mail me, since we know they will always happen.

    You need to get that hull patched up soon fella. There’s oceans to cross and treasure to find.

    Take care.


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