25 May 2007

"Fear" - Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver (c.1984) © Marion Ettlinger

This portrait of Carver was taken not far from here in Syracuse, New York just shortly befor the poem "Fear" was released in his collection Where Water Comes Together with Other Water (1985). There are, I suppose, many reasons to be afraid, some rational, some not, some conflicting, some reinforcing. Much of life seems these days to be about sorting out the ones from the others. But much of life these days has little to do with fear at all.

Fear
Raymond Carver

Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.

I've said that.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My god, his arms are so hairy! He might make a good bear ;)

25 May, 2007 12:32  
Blogger Lilith said...

Hrant Dink, a journalist recently murdered because of his ethnicity, wrote the day before his death: "I am a dove, walking timidly among the crowds, hoping to survive. After all, who kills a dove?" Well, unfortunately we know the answer now: An eighteen year old fascist who has been told by his elder "brothers" Hrant Dink must be killed.

Talking about hope and talking about fear...

26 May, 2007 08:20  
Anonymous trane said...

Good poem. Thanks for posting it.

29 May, 2007 14:18  

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