The fears and pleasures

This entry is part 6 of 42 in the series Antiphony: Paul Zweig


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I’m reading Paul Zweig. This is the sixth poem in the first section of his Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details.

Afraid That I Am Not a Poet
by Paul Zweig

Afraid that I am not a poet,
Yet willing to write
Even about that . . .

[Remainder of poem removed 8-25-05]

* * * *


Outside of a poem, I have never seen
such a seemingly everyday thing as
an empty mirror.

I think of the fear I would feel if
I came face to face with
the absence of myself
& shiver with longing & delight.

Ah, that the mere thought of a thing –
an outline, an image – can open
a window in my chest
& make my tongue dance about
for words!

Ukiyo-e, which refers to a genre of pre-modern Japanese woodblock prints depicting scenes from the demimonde, literally means “Picture(s) of the Floating World.”

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