Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Poetry 8: Claudia Emerson

I discovered Emerson through her book Late Wife (Louisiana State University Press, 2005), which I very much enjoyed. I was particularly drawn to this poem because I suffer from classic migraines ("classic" meaning the ones that come with the aura and other weird symptoms such as a numb hand). Her whole poem describes a migraine so expertly; if you get migraines, definitely look up this poem. I'll include a little from the beginning, the middle, and the end here.

from Migraine: Aura and Aftermath
by Claudia Emerson

First, part of the world disappears. Something
is missing from everything: the cat's eye,
ear, the left side of its face; . . .

. . . My arm
goes numb, my leg. Though I have felt the cold air
of this disappearance before, each time the aura
deceives me to believe reality itself
has failed . . .

. . . Then, in the relieved
wake of the day that follows it, I will
find my hand, count my fingers, and beginning
to see again, will recognize myself
restored to the evening of a righted room.


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