the weightlessness of sparrows

Milan Kundera gave us “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”.

Jonathan Safran Foer gave us “Everything is Illuminated”.

Denver Butson, the poet, gives us a poem about the weightlessness of sparrows.

The Sparrow, oil on canvas board, by Ian Paul

The what?

How does someone come to write a poem about that?

I don’t know.

And I don’t care.

Because the “how did he” or “why did he” are immaterial here.

What’s important are the words.

And of course, the ideas and feelings behind them.

And the spaces between them.

And the words that are not on the page….hiding between and behind those that are.

Or maybe not.

Here….read it….make up your own mind.

 

the world cannot bear the weightlessness of sparrows

the world cannot bear the weightlessness of sparrows
or the confetti of our illegible addresses
the moon’s breathless ascent
the world cannot bear it
so the world makes heavy things
like airplanes
and skyscrapers
like your heart
and heavy things fall down
because the world cannot bear them either

Denver Butson

The Dead Sparrow, etching, 1890, William Sidman

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