The Problem With Being a Box Too Small for Its Contents

Lucia Misch

Love, you ask too many questions.

Let’s agree: we are whole

                                                                 —John Thompson, “Ghazal II”

 

I take apart the watch

you left here

a thousand times each day.

It does not help me

understand time.

 

I press our mirrors together

as if I could pin the infinite

but the glass

will not be rasped

back to sand.

 

I try to sift

the love from grief

the grief from love

and only succeed

in splitting my own atom.

 

Still, my body refuses to part with me

insists that we are an ever-changing entirety

declines to debate me on this fact

 

as I twist and spit

mind scalpelling

itself to bits

a vivisectionist bent

over a strapped animal

muttering

              find peace

              find peace

as she works.

 

And indivisible

under her knife

the reply:

 

there is no love

without the first love

 

one’s own

lost love

 

may you rejoin yourselves

 

may you survive

even when you don’t want to.

Dive in

 

  1. How do we know the poet is writing about love?
  2. What images does the poet use to express grief?
  3. What are your reactions to the verse below:

 

            as I twist and spit

mind scalpelling

itself to bits

a vivisectionist bent

over a strapped animal

muttering

              find peace

              find peace

as she works.

 

  1. How does the poem express the ambivalent feelings that accompany a seperation? 
  2. How can you use volume, intonation and tempo to ensure the listener understands the poem holds italicized verses:

 

             there is no love

without the first love

 

one’s own

lost love

 

may you rejoin yourselves

 

may you survive

even when you don’t want to.

 

Writing Activity

 

The poet uses the epigraph by Thompson as inspiration:

 

Love, you ask too many questions.

Let’s agree: we are whole

 

Using a verse from the poem “The Problem With Being a Box Too Small for Its Contents” as an epigraph, write your own love poem. 

 

Useful Links

 

  1. Lucia Misch “How its Made”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaLkdDusIM
  2. John Thompson: http://www.stu-acpa.com/john-thompson.html
  3. Ghazal:  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/ghazal
Dive In written by
Bibliographical info
Lucia Misch, "THE PROBLEM WITH BEING A BOX TOO SMALL FOR ITS CONTENTS" from The Problem With Solitaire. Copyright © 2020 by Lucia Misch. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
 
Source: The Problem with Solitaire (Write Bloody North, 2020)
 
 
Start here: