This Is Poetry: Lydia Davis

Author and feline

Head, Heart 

by Lydia Davis

 

Heart weeps.

Head tries to help heart.

Head tells heart how it is, again: You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday.

Heart feels better, then.

But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.

Heart is so new to this.

I want them back, says heart.

Head is all heart has.

Help, head. Help heart.

 

Lydia Davis writes short fiction and poetry; the boundary between the two tends to blur when her fiction becomes micro. She is an accomplished French translator of Proust and Flaubert. I admire her work for its economy, deft movement, and the way it hits you in both the head and the heart, while making you laugh uproariously. She is a professor of English at SUNY Albany in New York.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Madame Bovary

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2 thoughts on “This Is Poetry: Lydia Davis

  1. Exactly – without articles it is like a children’s story. It’s devastating, but so endearing.

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