Interior Geography

caterpillar-monarch_800

 

The Circle Narrows

by George Jonas

 

It is quite possible

That our common thoughts come to us from the sea

Our doubtful soul follows the herrings

And we all die after the 11 o’clock news.

Still there is

A certain self which I for my part

Keep wrapped in tinfoil among my private papers.

 

I am less and less concerned

With a planet I share with Arabs and caterpillars

With a country I share with fellow motorists

With women who share me with film directors

And with a heart that after minor adjustments

Could be used by a customs officer.

 

The trips I will take from now on

Must only be a few inches in length.

 

 

I have a scrapbook from 1970, my senior year in college. In it, I pasted this poem, by George Jonas,which appeared in the Saturday Review.   As I read it now, I wonder what I liked about it back then. I think I only really liked the last line, which applies much more to me now that I has over the intervening years.  The rest of the poem disturbs me now.

 

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