Elizabeth Seydel Morgan's Without a Philosophy explores the times when a clear solution does not exist, when we find ourselves in "those darknesses between," where life appears nothing like certainty. In poems about the illness and death of a beloved man, the speaker asks the unanswered questions that are inevitably raised by the experience of grief, about the "impossibility of gauging distances" between souls. We see a life without pure knowledge of the truth as "we're either learning more each day / Or slantedly misled." Yet, there is affirmation here of a life of the imagination and a life of love.
Through the slanted louvers, light
cracks the shadowed room; October
Sunday afternoon asserts its life.
Slats of brightness on your blanket
insist the sky outside is cold blue
But who am I to feel so stuck inside,
for we both know the truth
that when we were young I spent
so many golden Sunday afternoons
in shuttered rooms. Crack a cold beer
and oh how we loved shutting out the sun,
some football game droing
its thudding plays beneath our breathing.
“Shutters” published in Without a Philosophy by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan.
Copyright © 2007 by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan. All rights reserved.
A native of Atlanta, Elizabeth Seydel Morgan is the author of four previous poetry collections. Morgan lives in Richmond, Virginia, near her three children and five grandchildren.
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