I don’t know that this needed to be a poem, but I liked it anyway.

C.K. Williams, “Repression”:

More and more lately, as, not even minding the slippages yet, the aches and sad softenings,
I settle into my other years, I notice how many of what I once thought were evidences of repression,
sexual or otherwise, now seem, in other people anyway, to be varieties of dignity, withholding, tact,
and sometimes even in myself, certain patiences I would have once called lassitude indifference,
now seem possibly to be if not the rewards then at least the unsuspected, undreamed-of conclusions
to many of the even-then-preposterous self-evolved disciplines, rigors, almost mortifications
I inflicted on myself in my starting-out days, improvement days, days when the idea alone of psychic peace,
of intellectual, of emotional quiet, the merest hint, would have meant inconceivable capitulation.


About Eve Tushnet