Thursday, February 27, 2020

Freight vs. Weight

I heard the most marvelous line of poetry today.

The poet Tracy K. Smith was on a podcast I listen to and I was listening to it in my car about 7am as I sailed down the curvy ribbon of road that leads over the bluff at the eastern edge of Marina, where I live, down and out into the Salinas Valley, which was looking particularly yellow and green and sprinkle-ry this morning.

She read from her poem “Charity” and it struck me intensely and I have been thinking on it all day because I have loved deeply people like this, but have always tried hard not to be like this. The this I am describing is this:

Hating what I carry but afraid to lay it down. Stingy. Angry. Doing violence to others by the sheer freight of my gloom.

Aside from the precision of the expression of the idea being described, the word freight rather than weight, is what makes her such a good writer.

You can read the whole poem here.


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