Monday, 20 September 2021

American Life in Poetry: Sometimes we wonder what unfailing means

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Jehanne Dubrow’s finely crafted sonnet, her own “simple machine,” reminds us so well of that moment, full of contradictory emotions, when the things we think are “unfailing”, fail us. She reflects on the fear of having to put aside an old, cherished thing to acquire what she calls “clean and bright” things. In the end, time wins.

The poem is from a collection of sonnets recently published in her book, “Simple Machine: Sonnets.”

[“Sometimes we wonder what unfailing means…”]
By Jehanne Dubrow
Sometimes we wonder what unfailing means
when nothing’s warrantied to last. Our car
breaks down among the clay-red hills, ravines
unmarked. Nowhere, New Mexico. We’re far
from cities that we know. It takes three days
to tow our brokenness across the state,
driving half-speed and braking for delays,
the detours up ahead. I navigate.
You drive. I tell you, I want clean and bright,
to trade in clattering and rubberneck
for speed or just fidelity. The light
is leaking from the sky, our trip a wreck.
You say, repairing engines is an art—
all of these small devices split apart.


American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Jehanne Dubrow, [“Sometimes we wonder what unfailing means…”] from Simple Machine: Sonnets, (University of Evansville Press, 2020.) Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Upcoming Calendar

20Sep
09.20.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake County 29'ers Cribbage Club Meeting
21Sep
09.21.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Tuesday market
21Sep
09.21.2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
22Sep
22Sep
09.22.2021 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Lake and Mendocino Stand Down and Resource Fair
22Sep
09.22.2021 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
First 5 Lake County Commission
23Sep
09.23.2021 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Savings Bank drive-up shred event
23Sep
09.23.2021 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Westside Community Horse Park planning meeting
24Sep
09.24.2021 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Clear Lake State Park Visitor Center tour
25Sep
09.25.2021 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Clear Lake State Park Visitor Center tour

Mini Calendar

loader

LCNews

Responsible local journalism on the shores of Clear Lake.

 

Memberships:

 

Newsletter

Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.
Cookies!

lakeconews.com uses cookies for statistical information and to improve the site.