New Poem: “Too Serious”

IMG_8930

Too Serious

Diana Senechal

They took their baby to the oracle
down by the river bank, under the bridge,
who said, “Your daughter is too serious,
well, not too serious, but serious,
which in the world’s eyes is too serious.”
They tore their hair and sank their frantic souls
and savings into schools and counselors.
She learned the daintihoods of lady-lite:
to curl her certainties with “I don’t know,”
to bounce her questions on a lilt of tongue,
to add a smiley to each thank-you note.
They laughed to see their fear fizzle away.

One day she fell into a brouhaha
at the train station, with a stranger—well,
what of it? No one heard or saw the scene
except her tutor, who penned down her shouts
in some blue diary, filled otherwise
with canny formulas and apothegms.
She shook it off as she had learned to do,
travelled to her exam, which she had meant
to pass just barely, but excelled upon,
a thing to laugh about, to dine over,
to raise a raucous glass to, as the glint
fizzles into the deep encaving fear.

Years later, months of quest carried her to
the oracle, who took her in his arms,
invited her to stay the afternoon,
and then fell mum. There on the table lay
a pencil and a sharpener. She took
and worked them in her hands, amazed by the
ringlets of falling wood. She saw sideways
his own eyes fixed upon the gleaming point
that grew more starry with each shave of dross,
which fell and fell. Snapping out of his daze,
he swallowed twice, as if about to speak,
but she had risen to the truth and gone.

Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Oh, my! This is wonderful, Diane!!! WOW!!!!

    Reply
  2. One of the finest poems I’ve read in a long, long time. So exquisitely written and profound. I was thinking that I could write a long essay extolling the merits of this poem and still not exhaust it. Such keen observation; so many perfect, unexpected phrases (filled, otherwise, with canny phrases and apothegems) and coinages (lady-lite) and vivid, precise metaphors (curl her certainties, raucous glass, ringlets of falling wood); such technique (sank their frantic souls and savings–zeugma!); such diction (encaving); such vivid rendering of the moments in the poem and connotative suggestion of the thoughts and emotions of its characters (the gleaming point that grew more starry, he swallowed twice). And the ending, simultaneously chilling and triumphant. Wow. Magnificent!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s