Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.
Hi folks! Happy Poetry Friday! The poem below talks about "imagining a kingdom" when you're ten. At about that age, I drew extensive diagrams of an imaginary house with rooms for everything a kid could want. So I am right there with Amy Newman in the opening stanza (and later I can feel the ketchup hit my new shirt, although that never happened to me).
An Incomplete Encyclopedia
by Amy Newman
An incomplete encyclopedia of happiness
would have an entry on you
and a map of the walk you took when you were ten,
jingling your allowance and imagining a kingdom.
It would have a list of places to go for ice cream
and a compendium of the naturally sweet fruits,
their hues of flesh arranged on a color chart,
and types of candies in alphabetical order...
The companion volume on unhappiness
starts earlier than it should, and contains
statistics on loss in blurry, mite-sized type.
There’s an article on that time the popular girl
squirted ketchup on your new shirt, the one
your mother worked six extra days to pay for,
near the category on Children in War Zones,
just to emphasize the shame of selfishness...
The editor is up nights, compiling and revising
everything ever done or made
or imagined or hoped for,
everything bright and glazed
or dulled by use, or rubbed away
or fought for, or thrown or thrown at
or razed or constructed
or conceived of, or created, or traveled...
...everything believed and debunked, or believed and lost,
everything learned and everything forgotten,
including the incomplete encyclopedia,
including the editor’s research, his days compiling,...
...his love of cards, his fear of swans,
his father’s regret and his mother’s voice, singing,
all this unhappiness, all this happiness.
read the complete Incomplete poem here (you have to make an account for Narrative; it's free)
Kathryn Apel has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kat!