Halloween is over, but I've got hauntings on my mind.
I'm not haunted by ghosts, though. I'm haunted by words. Coming from songs, poems, mentors, supporters, and the occasional enemy, certain phrases linger in my mind and visit me at unexpected times. Sometimes they are malicious, but more often they are welcome friends. Inciting me to action, rebuking my insecurities, reminding me of time's quick clock, these lines have a great influence on me. If one were to look at all the lines that run on a loop through my thoughts, one might even be able to do a little head-shrinking on me.
I was talking about this with a friend the other day, and she confessed to having a particular verse stuck in her head, too. I imagine we all have sayings that rattle around in our minds, and I'm inviting you to share yours as well.
Because I seem to have a little collection of these, I'm going to start a series of posts on this theme. Here are a few of the lines currently coming to call on me lately.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
from "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Dylan Thomas
"Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast, and ah! bright wings."
from "God's Grandeur," Gerard Manley Hopkins
"I hear the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me."
from "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock," T.S. Eliot
"I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary."
from "Variations on the Word Sleep," Margaret Atwood
"And as for the me that was then, well,
is lost at the bottom of the oily lake,
for a tide."
"It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate.
It takes strength to be gentle and kind."
from "I Know It's Over," The Smiths
"We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow."
from "The Waking," Theodore Roethke
"Keep going, Kirie. Keep going." Alan Friedman, a mentor, and author of Hermaphrodeity
"Here is little faith and the turn of the wheel.
Here is the promise to unmask mountains
and see woodlight and this tender portion
of hands gathering love and dreams."
from "Liberation," Dana Thu
"....And yet sometimes
The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty
Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear
Water, cold so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life."
from "Well Water," Randall Jarrell.
Okay, now it's your turn. What lines haunt you?
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