Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dorianne Laux's How to Sleep

It's a brand new Sunday in a brand new month, so that means a brand new poem for us to discuss! This month, we invite you to read Dorianne Laux's How to Sleep. Just click on the name of the poem to follow the link to Verse Daily.

Take the poem to bed with you. Read it as you fall asleep, read it the minute you wake up in the morning. Trouble sleeping? Sit up in the middle of your tossing and turning and read the poem aloud.

Stop by all this week and discuss the poem with your fellow poets/sleepers.


Dana said...

That's a great poem.

Dana said...

You all should get Poem on NetworkedBlogs on Facebook so people can follow it and view your posts from there -- as well as sharing the links on their profiles.

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Anonymous said...

This poem is a poet's prescription - calling Dr. Laux! - for sleep, when sleep is evasive, elusive. It's a kind of hypnosis...the long, drawn-out phrases are so persuasive and soft, you find yourself following them down a trail toward, if not sleep, something much like it. "soon or late, late or soon, the song you're made of will stop, your body played out," - so why not pretend that time is now? why not "practice" death now? This poem starts to make so much sense that it is scary; a very convincing prescription. I love it. Deborah Miranda

Donald Harbour said...

Pedro Calderon wrote "Life is a Dream", a play first published in 1635. The central theme being, "Life is a dream from which only death awakens us". To me "How to Sleep", seems to explore Calderon's theme. There is an intermingling of eternal sleep with the edge of wakeful reality. Maybe when we die we truly are awakened, as in the movie Matrix, to a reality of existence which is there to "Hover in a veil of ethers." Science has often tried to explain sleep however many scientist will ultimately say that they really do not know why we sleep. Is sleep possibly just a way for the cosmos to keep us in touch with the ultimately reality of death? I find the rhythm of the poem narcotic, a prescription for ones sleepless night, if one can accept the inevitability.

Linda Jacobs said...

I've read the poem a couple times now. Going to sleep is a little death, isn't it? The old day dies and we have a chance to be born anew, again, each morning.

There is trust in laying our heads on our pillows and we do it every night. We trust that we are going to wake up and we trust that we'll get another chance to make our lives right. And if we don't wake up, we accept that, too, every night.

I love this poem and will be thinking of it tonight when I get into bed!