Friday, July 29, 2011

When You Love a Wild Thing


This is for a prompt at Real Toads: to take a quotation from Breakfast at Tiffany's:
I chose this one, (of course)!

"...you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, ...[i]f you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky."


— Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories)
 
When you love
a wild thing,
you're rekindling
your kinship
with the wild.
 
Every cell
in your body
remembers
when you once
lived free
upon the land,
when you
lived
the Old Ways
we once
used to
understand.
 
Part of you
remembers
when you
hunted the deer,
and part remembers
when you were
the deer
being hunted.
Both sides
know fear.
 
The part of you
that catches
your breath
while your heart
quickens,
when that
old gray whale
turns her
ancient eye
on you,
is the part
that recognizes,
but can't
put words to,
the message
in her
mournful song,
about this
planetary home
where we all
belong.
 
I gave my heart
to a wolf-pup,
his eyes
intelligent
and true.
He loved
me more
than anyone
I ever knew.
 
He remained
wild,
but left
both
wilderness
and sea.
In order
to be with me
he relinquished
being free.
 
And when
it came
his time
to leave,
he tried
so hard
to stay.
Since he's
been gone,
it's like
the wilderness
itself
has gone
away.
 
Now
when I walk,
yes,
I'm looking
at the sky.
I'm listening
at each full moon
for his lonely
cry.
 
I walk
the length
of his favorite river
with tears
that we're apart.
But I'm glad
I loved a wild thing
because he
fortified
my heart.

7 comments:

  1. Oh Sherry, your poems about Pup could be made into a chapbook. So many facets of your relationship in each of these poems. The very thought, "When you love a wild thing," has so much meaning, and that deepens as the work moves along. Lovely. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/yeah-like-thats-gonna-happen/

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  2. My Sundance was the same way. He had been running wild with a group of strays, and it took some time to get him to trust me. He learned to love being spoiled and living in the house, but he never lost his wild heart, and I didn't want for him to.

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  3. Yes, Sherry, I felt certain this would be the quote that spoke out to you, and you have taken Capote's words and made the song your own. I love the philosophy behind this poem, the reference to the whale's old eye (I felt my heart expanding...) and your faithful love of your own wolf, but this stanza summed it all up for me:
    Part of you
    remembers
    when you
    hunted the deer,
    and part remembers
    when you were
    the deer
    being hunted.
    Both sides
    know fear.

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  4. Time this worlds inhabitants got back to these simple, but so all important basics. This is beautiful.

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  5. I loved this story of how your wolf-dog gave to you the re-connection to nature we have lost.

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  6. This is a most loveable thing. I'm always thinking of dogs and cats. I'd take 'em all in...logistics...?

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  7. This is beautiful writing Sherry, so moving. Don't be afraid to make your lines longer. That is, to embrace having less line breaks.

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