Monday, March 28, 2011

Letter to Campbell McGrath


Consequently, you will know how to piece them together into a vision of your own design. -James Wright, "A Letter to Franz Wright"

I am not in Italy. Nor have I ever been. I take you and James Wright at your descriptions of it, which I couldn't touch if I were standing there.

Like both of you, I am a father. But again, a difference: I have girls.

I, too, have smashed my crude hammer against a wall of jewels and tried to gather up the pieces. I have wanted to collect both wall and splintered hammer and set them at my daughters' feet when they are ready (if they should have any use for a shattered hammer).

I like that your sons are with you, creating and sharing your Italy. I love that their words are your words, a distinct difference from James Wright's letter to his son, then distant from him.

"The hopes and dreams of fathers for their sons" (or daughters) and the desire to pass along something worthwhile, maybe even beautiful, of my own hopes and dreams and life.

I read your letter to James Wright and then re-read his letter to his son Franz and the words and sentiments swirl into deep blue water and I can't decide whether to watch or jump in

2 comments:

Kelly said...

from my friend over at courier knew, it reminds me of this:
"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." That's Leonard Cohen.

Michael Valliant said...

That's fantastic. Thanks, Kelly!