Music of Spheres by Jean Follain

December 12, 2012

in Confessions

It drives me crazy that people have stopped reading poetry. It is viewed as inaccessible, hard. But it isn't. It isn't much different from song lyrics.

Well, good song lyrics anyway.

Poetry can do the same thing for you that your favorite song can. I'm going to start sharing with you what a joy that poetry can be – try to make it accessible for you.

This poem is one that I often read when I'm feeling lost or alone.

Music of Spheres

He was walking a frozen road
in his pocket iron keys were jingling
and with his pointed shoe absent-mindedly
he kicked the cylinder
of an old can
which for a few seconds rolled its cold emptiness
wobbled for a while and stopped
under a sky studded with stars.

Translated from the French by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Haas

I am mesmerized by the imagery in this poem. The action begins with a man who is wandering, lost maybe. Or at least without specific purpose and destination. Then the action is transferred to the can, empty and cold, which is the next leg of this journey. The final leg is a wobbling and then stopping.

How many times have we been on identical journeys where we are lost or without purpose, cold and empty, unsure, without solid footing?

This poem always speaks of hope to me though. At the onset of this seemingly hopeless journey, a man focuses his eyes on the ground, his feet. At the end we are stopped under a sky studded with stars looking up. The sky in this poem may represent the future, heaven, or just simply hope. The journey isn't over.

To me, this poem says when you are surrounded by darkness, the only thing you can do is stop, stand still, and let your eyes adjust until you can see the light.


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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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