On what is enough

January 24, 2011

“There are enough things here / to remind me who I am.”
—”Letter Home,” Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey

I don’t often underline words in my poetry books; I prefer to dog-ear pages and re-discover whatever moved me, or discover for the first time something I hadn’t noticed before.  But this line was so startling I couldn’t help myself.  (The whole poem is available on the Poetry Foundation website here.)

For me, the word “enough” conveys all the emotion, because it suggests a threshold.  At what point do we cross the threshold from present moment into reminder and memory?  What falls short of bringing us there, and what pushes us even beyond that?

I loved this book as much as Trethwey’s other two, possibly even more.  I’m sure I’ll revisit all three again and again.


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