Caps

September 6, 2006 at 10:22 pm 12 comments

Kay Ryan

Listen

People should be
open on top like a cup.
A piece of bread
should be able to sop
some of us up.
We should be milk-like
or like wine. We should
not have to be trying
to get our caps off all the time.
The storybook boy
attempts the simple gesture
of baring his head
for his emperor,
but another hat has appeared.
This happens over and over.
Who does not share
his despair of simplicity,
of acting clearly and with dignity?
And what pleasure can we find
in the caps, brightly feathered
and infinitely various,
that pile up so high they bury us?

Another delightful Kay Ryan poem. This one combining an almost Kafka-esque scene with a lighthearted joie-de-vivre, to create a poem that touches you even as it makes you laugh out loud. As Ryan says herself “Who does not share / his despair of simplicity,/ of acting clearly and with dignity?”. Which of us has not had the hilarious yet frustrating feeling of being plunged into a long sequence of events by some casual gesture or act? Ryan finds the perfect comic image for that experience, and what’s more, she does so with flair.

[falstaff]

A previous Ryan poem on Poi-tre here.

Entry filed under: English, Falstaff, Kay Ryan. Tags: .

Shinto The Wolf

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gaurav Mishra  |  September 7, 2006 at 1:40 am

    People should be
    open on top like a cup.
    A piece of bread
    should be able to sop
    some of us up.
    We should be milk-like
    or like wine.

    Interesting imagery!

    Reply
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