(The Daily Rumpus) This Specific Forgetfulness

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I remember almost everything I've ever felt—except what I don't. There is a swath of years I don't recall certain details from my childhood, although

   

I remember almost everything I've ever felt—except what I don't. There is a swath of years I don't recall certain details from my childhood, although I do remember why and what I don't remember, which is perhaps nearly the same as remembering.

Aside from this specific forgetfulness, I remember it all.

The trouble with having a good memory is it can be a trap. You might fool yourself into thinking you are stuck. If you recall every promise, you remember every heartbreak.

Here is a Sylvia Plath poem I memorized many years ago. I love it very much, and the lines play across my mind often, especially during these slow winter months. And especially this year, as I try to remember how to write.

Words

Axes
After whose stroke the wood rings,
And the echoes!
Echoes traveling
Off from the center like horses.

The sap
Wells like tears, like the
Water striving
To re-establish its mirror
Over the rock

That drops and turns,
A white skull,
Eaten by weedy greens.
Years later I
Encounter them on the road-

Words dry and riderless,
The indefatigable hoof-taps.
While
From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars
Govern a life.

If I'm remembering correctly, this is one the last poems Plath wrote before her death. I love its unsparing sensibility now as much as I did when I first came upon it.

Do you have a good memory? Or, send me a favorite poem, whether you've memorized it or not.

Love,
Marisa

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