Friday, January 28, 2011

Readings: This Caught My Fancy

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In the course of indexing a file, I came across this poem in typescript draft at work this morning and liked it:


Home

Our father owned a star,
and by its light
we lived in father’s house
and slept at night.

The tragedies of life,
like death and war,
were faces looking in
at our front door.

But finally all came in,
from near and far:
you can’t believe in locks
and own a star.
XXXXX~ William Stafford, from “All About Light”

UPDATE: Interestingly, when I came to the proof sheets in the back of the same folder, just now, after having already published this post, I found that whoever set the poem in type for publication had read the penultimate line as "you can't believe in looks," rather than "you can't believe in locks," as I had read it. I thought I was going to have to delete the post, since the word "locks" was what made it work for me. I then discovered, to my immense pleasure and gratification, that Stafford had corrected that "looks" when he read the proofs; "locks" was the correct reading after all.


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2 comments:

Katley said...

the word "locks" fits here. Looks wouldn't make sense. This poem implies faith in a higher power, and you have to be open to it.

Rodak said...

There was some possibility that "looks" could have been referring back to "faces looking in at our front door." But that would have been lame; and it would have ruined the poem.