Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poem In Your Post: Sidekicks

They were never handsome and often came
with a hormone imbalance manifested by corpulence,
a yodel of a voice or ears big as kidneys.

But each was brave. More than once a sidekick
has thrown himself in front of our hero in order
to receive the bullet or blow meant for that
perfect face and body.

Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave
the sidekick alone. He would not stand for it.
Gabby or Pat, Pancho or Andy remind us of a part
of ourselves,

the dependent part that can never grow up,
the part that is painfully eager to please,
always wants a hug and never gets enough.

Who could sit in a darkened theatre, listen
to the organ music and watch the best
of ourselves lowered into the ground while
the rest stood up there, tears pouring off
that enormous nose.

                                  - Ronald Koertge

Next week in my classroom, we're starting a yearlong journey exploring the heroes, heroines, goddesses, gods, villains, and monsters that populate the stories which shape our psyches, our cultures, and our world.  So why not celebrate the sidekicks, too?  Most of us, that's who we are.

If you enjoyed this poem, you might check out the other offerings over at Poetry 180 and Koertge's well-respected and often-edgy young adult novels, as well as his poetry collections.

If you've got a poem to share this weekend, why not offer it - or a link to its space on your blog or website - in the comments below.  I'll visit, and others might too.

MFB, on the morning the varied thrushes returned to our little suburban oasis,


parrish lantern said...

Woman Unborn - Anna Swir

I am not born as yet,
five minutes before my birth.
I can still go back
into my unbirth.
Now it's ten minutes before,
now it's one hour before birth.
I go back,
I run
into my minus life.

I walk through my unbirth as in a tunnel
with bizarre perspectives.
Ten years before,
a hundred and fifty years before,
I walk, my steps thump,
a fantastic journey through epochs
in which there was no me.

How long is my minus life,
nonexistence so much resembles immortality.

Here is Romanticism, where I could have been a spinster,
Here is Renaissance, where I could have been
an ugly and unloved wife of an evil husband,
The Middle Ages, where I could have carried water in a tavern.

I walk still further,
what an echo,
my steps thump
through my minus life,
through the reverse of life.
I reach Adam and Eve,
nothing is seen anymore, it's dark.
Now my nonexistence dies already
with the trite death of mathematical fiction.
As trite as the death of my existence would have been
had I really been born.

(trans: Czeslaw Milosz & Leonard Nathan)

Salome Ellen said...

I hope you are planning to show "Sky High" as part of your heroes/sidekicks studies. The sidekicks are the heroes!

Laurie said...

PL - So glad you're back! And with another stellar poem, as always. Hope all's well with you, over there across the pond...
SE - I'm investigating "Sky High" right now, Netflixing it as we speak. Thanks so much for the suggestion: another reason to love the blogging community is all the fab people with fab taste, ever ready with a recommendation!

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