20: Elegy

Elegy: In traditional English poetry, it is often a melancholy poem that laments its subject’s death but ends in consolation. – Poetry Foundation


Breathing white in sodium light
Up Epuni St on election night,

There is little to mark the passing
Of six years upon the face of this city

Or even the faces of my old friends.
This is waking, that a dream;

A dream ten years driving me
Into a flooded night when I knew

It wasn’t worth dying for and it wasn’t possible
To live for.

After a long break, I’m back on the project. I’ve been in the process of moving back from Iowa to Wellington and looking for a job which has been tough in a lot of ways. I think I also got stuck with this particular form because I knew I wanted to write about leaving Iowa and leaving the PhD and by extension the whole life as a professor I’d been so wedded to for so long. The elegy, with its mourning and its consolation, seemed perfect but I couldn’t seem to find the right objective correlative. I’m actually pretty happy with how this turned out eventually though, short as it is.


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