Showing 3091 - 3100 of 3157 annotations
Summary:The "muck" stirred up in the deadwater of a murky lake is a metaphor for the stirring up of old hostilities between a mother and her now adult child. This subtle poem strikingly evokes the psychological history of a difficult family relationship and the precariousness of an adult truce, "a cloud of silt endlessly / raining itself out."
Summary:In the waning days of World War II, Hana, a Canadian nurse, refuses to leave the temporary hospital in a Tuscan villa where she cares for her mysterious English patient, a soldier burned and bandaged beyond recognition. The patient is haunted by the memory of a love affair in North Africa. Hana is joined by Kip, a Sikh bomb-disposal expert, who becomes her lover, and by Caravaggio, a friend of her father and sometime-criminal-turned spy. The three establish a loose pattern of precarious existence in a ravaged world and form a bond of love around the dying man whose identity they try to uncover.
Summary:An African-American physician from Louisiana provides care to patients whose ideas of traditional healing conflict with those of Western medicine. An observer describes how this Parish Doctor negotiates a compromise between his formal training and the beliefs and expectations of his patients. He accepts their black hens and claims to have "conjuh knowledge" while providing competent care.
Summary:Chana Bloch's series of eight cancer poems, collectively entitled “In the Land of the Body,” focuses on the experience of ovarian cancer, from diagnosis to surgery and beyond. The poems provide a loose narrative of illness and treatment, but each of them represents a slightly different approach to the inner life of illness. They are episodic; several evoke scenes--in the doctor's office before the X-ray machine, at home, watching her children color, in the hospital before surgery, and finally out of doors among the pines, released as “cured,” reveling in the qualified hope that they got it all.
Summary:The speaker is poor, homeless, and desperate. The place is Minnesota, the season winter. He cries out, "I am a full-blooded Sioux Indian." He is about to go hungry and "to leap barefoot through gas-fire veils of shame . . . . " Yet, the man acknowledges, "my life was never so precious / To me as now." He will learn anything, do anything, be anything, for the sake of his precious "secret, / My life."
Summary:A young boy's mother has just died, and out of grief and love, the father has her "resurrected." The family is told to think of the returned mother as having had a mild stroke, but, in fact, she wanders about the house like an inexpressive automaton. Her return from the dead leads to the destruction of the family: the eventual suicides of the boy's older brother and father. The boy, now a young man, becomes a Resurrectionist himself. He narrates the story with a direct, simple tone, which belies the eerie conclusion: he returns to the home of his youth, where his "family" awaits him.
Summary:This poem is essentially a list of the splendid variety of shit in the world. It begins: "You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are . . ." and continues the catalog for 45 lines, from gosling shit, through cricket and mandrell shit, ending with "the shit of the wasteful gallinule."
Summary:A man speaks to his six-months pregnant wife. He says she lures him "to our conjugal bed / to use each other gently . . . . " He imagines "eyes staring at me from / deep inside" that "say we are captured . . . . " He concludes "We are / too sure we need each other / to let go."
The patient is lying on the table under an x-ray machine. He observes carefully the details of the machine above him--the three cables, the "crayon’s nose-cone," the traces of the electric tape that once bound the darker cable to the others. Now it is held by "serrated plastic ties." Everything is ready to "look into / whatever’s next, whatever it is I’m in for." What will appear on the film does not appear outside "under plain old sky," where it is "just beginning to snow."
Summary:It is autumn. The "first cool spell" has come and made its changes, but life continues: "there's something besides // death and nothingness / even if winter is coming." You can never arrive at death. As you approach death, you diminish, so that in the end, "nothing is equal to nothing."