I’ve chosen two more poems by C.K. Williams to share with you. The first – ‘Shame’ – came to mind when I was writing my essay ‘On being Creepy‘.
I was half tempted to end that essay with this poem, it seemed so apposite to the humiliating stigma and destructive nature of that label, that identity.
Note how three concatenations of three adjectives (“odd, unacceptable, out-of-things”, “irrepressible, unselective, incessant” and “creepy, weird, whatever”) define the rhythm and texture of the poem, giving the impression of the poet groping through imprecise language towards a final clear and terrible statement of self-discovery.
The speech-marks which enclose the poem intrigue me. They give the impression that the poet is distancing himself from what he’s written.
Is it the poet reporting his own thoughts? or is he reporting someone else’s thoughts? a father’s, a mother’s even? The last two lines makes it clear that these thoughts, or words, are being directed at another person. But who? some imaginary individual? the reader? the poet? Society?