Just discovered a new poem and new poet, quoted in David Whyte’s book, The Three Marriages. See if you can figure out which authors Alden Nowlan refers to in this poem.
THE SEASICK SAILOR AND OTHERS
The awkward young sailor who is always seasick
Is the one who will write about ships.
The young man whose soldiery consists in the delivery
Of candy and cigarettes to the front
Is the one who will write about war.
The man who will never learn to drive a car
And keeps going home to his mother
Is the one who will write about the road.
Stranger still, hardly anyone else will write so well
About the sea or war or the road. And then there is the woman
who has scarcely spoken to man except her brother
and who works in a room no larger than a closet,
she will write as well as anyone who has ever lived
about vast open spaces and the desires of the flesh:
and that other woman who will live with her sister and
rarely leave her village, she will excel
in portraying men and women in society:
and that woman, in some ways the most wonderful of them all,
who is afraid to go outdoors, who hides when someone knocks,
she will write great poems about the universe inside her.