I was looking for something that contained the word “ovation” and came across this quote. The quote from the poet Marilyn Nelson, describing the poetry of John Drury:
“Fiercely intelligent, carefully honed, Drury’s poems trust in the myth of the way things are, singing of memory and loss to our sad world of ovation and applause.”
Then I went to Drury’s poems and found this gem:
How to Stay Awake
Late at night on the interstate, driving
while drowsy, you crank
open the window
so the wind starts shoving
with its cold fingers.
But even with coffee, the sedative is silence,
a calm that lingers
in the slow drone of tires on the highway,
like the hushed waves
against a hull that’s rocking on the bay.
In any car,
the wind, however loud, is still a murmur.
What’s a sure
way to keep yourself awake? Just click
the radio on
to something loud enough, not talk but rock,
and don’t just listen—
that’s how a siren lures you to slip under,
and merge into a gulf of harmonies.
You have to sing,
open your mouth wide, belt it out, and praise
the means you have
for rescuing your own self from yourself,
to stay alive
by keeping the muscles moving in your mouth,
so your eyes can’t close,
so the song becomes a counter-spell to death.