building blocks (babble on babel)

Hubris is hard to own in its breaking down
to a simplicity of matter, as if cells were stones,
small ones, collectively tall enough to threaten heaven
and make gods nervous.

After falling I stack, borrowed piece by borrowed piece
a remembered me, self-made without blueprints.
I use the words my mother taught:
shoe, leather, cup, mouth.  It is not the sound

or the thing that’s misspoken;
it is the combination of need and tongue,
air and want that is not understood.

How else explain
why I am always translating myself
into common language?

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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16 Responses to building blocks (babble on babel)

  1. So, I just finished Donald Hall’s essay “Goatfoot, Milktongue and Twinbird” and first I found Twinbird in Mark Redford’s latest and now I find Milktongue in this…
    “it is the combination of need and tongue,
    air and want that is not understood.”
    D. Hall:
    “His small toungue curls around the sounds, the way his tongue warms with the tiny thread of milk that he pulls from his mother. This is Milktongue, and in poetry it is the deep and primitive pleasure of vowels in the mouth, of assonance and of holds on long adjacent vowels; of consonance, mmmm, and alliteration.”

    Couldn’t help but share. Can’t get Hall’s book anymore, I don’t think, but I found this essay in “A Field Guide to Contemporary Poetry and Poetics”–Great Book!

  2. … ‘er … ‘common language’? I think not 😀

  3. yeoldefoole says:

    you inspire me…

  4. This is so relevant and to me, a perfect poem for most poets! Applause !

  5. nelle says:

    Nice… and I can’t help but wonder why I’m always trying to translate myself to me.

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