Addressing Oneself

There is, within the epistolary mode (of letter writing, of second-person address), a mode that has to do with writing to oneself. The "you" is the self. Not the self in the world, but the self in the poem. There are things that the writer within wishes to say to the self of the poem. My dear friend, the late Daniel Simko (whose posthumously published work, The Arrival, I recommend), wrote this poem "Winter Music," in order to speak to himself. He was a refugee from former Czechoslovakia. The poem has something to say about the condition of forced immigration, and also about pining for a lost love. Might you have something to write in this mode? Here is the poem:


It has grown simpler.

It has grown into a map of hard fields,
the worry of a hand holding a knife.

It seems, after all,
that you have come to care for nothing.

Not even the voices rising into slow music
beneath the ice.

It seems your address has changed,
or not changed. Or changed again.

Perhaps it is time to rise
and write it down:

the address, the phone number,
a clear description of your face.

Perhaps it is time to get dressed
and step out into the blunt argument of the morning

the same desire to go on living
with someone who is not there

Cold light against your forehead,
solitude in place of a body.

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