Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Favo(u)rite Poem ~ I Will Keep Broken Things

When I was a child, our home was full of broken things. A coffee cup was never discarded because it no longer possessed a handle. It simply was repurposed into a water glass. I didn't have much money to buy my mother a gift so when I got a chance to head into town to a second hand store I would take my change and search through all the chipped and cracked items never noticing their imperfections only that somewhere among them was the perfect gift for mama.

When I came upon Alice Walker's poem, I Will Keep Broken Things, it reached right into that little girl inside me. My family knew of my love for collecting broken things, but they didn't know the secret I kept that had broken me. Through her words I saw myself and the broken things in me that birthed my passion to write.

Here is an excerpt from Alice's poem:

In my house
there
remains
an

honored
shelf
on which
I will
keep
broken
things.

Their beauty
is
they
need
not
ever
be 
'fixed.'

You can read the entire poem here.

In my search for the poem I found a video of Alice Walker reading her poem.

18 comments:

georgeplaceblog said...

I was not familiar with this poem -it is beautiful. The concept behind and the poem itself is beautiful. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this and a little of yourself.

Susan said...

Marvelous video, such detail combined with understatement for so much emotion. Huge "gifts" from time and place. Her "Color Purple" taught me how to understand God." "Thank you so much ... I will keep myself."

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, the "pilgrim of sorrow"! How magnificently she reads her simple, life-affirming words. And such an honour to see a performance of the woman who had "The Color Purple" inside her head.

Thank you for bringing us this poem today, Susie.

Marian said...

oooohhh Susie. so wonderful. "i will keep you." sigh.

Patricia A. McGoldrick said...

Susie, such a beautiful post! The poem was new to me and now will stay in my mind. Alice Walker's reading was wonderful. Great start to my day!
Hope your broken foot is healing! :)

Hannah said...

Love this...wonderful feature of Alice Walker, thank you, Susie!

Lolamouse said...

What a beautiful and meaningful poem. I'd never read it before, so thank you for sharing it.

Ella said...

Thank you sharing Susie! I have always been enchanted with her words-I love this poem~

Hope you are resting! Take Care

Robert Bourne said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this..it reminds me of my childhood my parents scraped by so everything was used to the utmost....

Grace said...

Such a meaningful and beautiful words ~ Thank you Susie ~

Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks everyone. I am so glad the poem has blessed so many. Alice Walker is one of my favorite writers.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love this poem, Susie. I particularly like the final stanza in the complete poem:
"I will keep
You:
Pilgrim
Of
Sorrow.
I will keep
Myself."
— K

Sherry Blue Sky said...

BEAUTIFUL, Susie. I am on a streak of reading Alice Walker (again) right now. She speaks right to my heart.

Loredana Donovan said...

Beautiful poem, so touching. "I will keep myself" ... wow! Self-affirming, love it. Thanks for sharing, Susie. :)

Margaret said...

Her voice! Her presence! What an honor this is. Thank you and I can see why you hold this poem dear.

Jim said...

Once again you have found me out. I have several broken items, some on my shelf and the others on the floor waiting for ...

My brother-in-laws, two, each broke one of my colored FireKing cups that I rescued from the auction of Mom's things. I had a set of eight, now it is seven with two white ones instead of one.

eBay can mend but it won't be fixed. Nor will those clutzes, still friends, ever be forgiven.
..

grapeling said...

thanks for the share, Susie - I had forgotten her poetry.

Gattina said...

I never thought about broken things, I would rather throw them away. I am not very attached to material things.