Monday, July 15, 2024

Václav Havel’s Spirit Visited Me

Václav Havel’s spirit visited me shortly after he died.
It was not warm.
There was no comforting greeting.
He visited me as a critic.

At that time I had been working feverishly
On a collection of poetry.
My marriage was on the very last strand
Of falling apart.

My songs of poetry were not songs,
But proclamations and divinations
And declarations of my eternal love.

I had proposed to God to open the door to Heaven.
I needed an answer to how I could lose someone,
Someone so perfect. My wife of just a few years.

What I can remember is that I must have been on my knees
When Václav Havel’s spirit arrived.
He stood over me in disgust.

Havel couldn’t bear the sight of me
And my work.

With astonishment and angst, he told me,
“Poetry must sing!”

I felt ashamed
For years.

Ashamed at the extent in which
My project of poetry did not sing.

It took six years for me to realize.

He was not being an unforgiving critic.

He was trying to help.

Of course, he was right. Poetry should sing.

But not all poetry.