Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Day 53: Only in Dreams

How can the dream world compare to reality? 

We are all familiar with dreams of flying and then waking up slightly deflated. And then there are those dreams where everything seems possible and you wake up enthused and inspired, 'your heart...beating with pure joy, pure helium', only for it to dissipate into the light of dawn and the dejection of reality, 'you try to rise and rise, but you cannot.'

I've never seen this feeling described so aptly as in this poem by Margaret Atwood. As a prose writer, she is a master at vivid imagery, which is amplified all the more in her poetry, as are her depictions of reality - or in this case - the difference between dreams and reality, hope and doubt, happiness and sorrow, possibilities and inabilities.

Flying Inside Your Own Body - Margaret Atwood

Your lungs fill & spread themselves,
wings of pink blood, and your bones
empty themselves and become hollow.
When you breathe in you’ll lift like a balloon
and your heart is light too & huge,
beating with pure joy, pure helium.
The sun’s white winds blow through you,
there’s nothing above you,
you see the earth now as an oval jewel,
radiant & seablue with love.
It’s only in dreams you can do this.
Waking, your heart is a shaken fist,
a fine dust clogs the air you breathe in;
the sun’s a hot copper weight pressing straight
down on the thick pink rind of your skull.
It’s always the moment just before gunshot.
You try & try to rise but you cannot. 

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