Not the music.
It is this other thing
I keep from all of them
that matters, inviolable.
I scratch in my journals,
a mouse rummaging through cupboards,
nibbling on a crust of bread, apple skins,
chewing the edges of photographs, the small
details of a life. I hoard and save,
place one thing inside another
inside the next.
Start with the prairie, then Horizon
and inside it our house,
the kitchen, the table where I sit
with my journal, and inside it
everything I write – dust, moths,
wind speaking in whispers
across the page,
the absence of rain,
to the smallest
- What does the word inviolable mean? List 3 or more things that are inviolable to the poet. What makes them inviolable?
- The poem explores the “small details” in the poet’s life: crust of bread, apple skins, moths. What effect do these carefully small details have on you as the reader?
- Why do you think “I” is italicized by the poet? What would change for you if “I” was not italicized?
- The poem seems to expand and shrink. What do you make of the poet’s delve into her interior life? Do you think there is more to be said? Or, are these details enough?
- Practice reciting this poem surrounded by your inviolable objects. How does it feel? Is it helpful?
Make an account of all your inviolable artifacts or memories, ones that symbolize the “small details” of your life. Write a poem honouring these parts of yourself. Pretend as if you are writing to Lorna Crozier.