Friday Poem: Tigers


What are we now but voices
who promise each other a life
neither one can deliver
not for lack of wanting
but wanting won’t make it so
We cling to a vine
at the cliff’s edge.
There are tigers above
and below. Let us love
one another and let go.

-Eliza Griswold

With poetry, I’m starting at the beginning, or at my beginning with it. Even though I spent my last 2.5 years of college as an English major, for a long time I never really got poetry. I’m not sure why, but somehow poetry just never spoke to me the way that novels or short stories did. I found it . . . old fashioned? boring? I’m not sure. Then one day I ran across this poem in the New Yorker (the April 25, 2005 edition,) and all the sudden something clicked. I loved this poem, and it somehow just put poetry as a whole in perspective for me. It’s still probably my favorite poem of all time. After that I started reading contemporary poetry, and have since found that I actually really love the medium.

You can hear Eliza talk about and read Tigers here, and read more of her poetry in her book Wideawake Field, which I found out about just now when googeling her and will definitely be adding to my next book order.

Image: Tiger Gocco Print from paper sparrow

3 thoughts on “Friday Poem: Tigers

  1. I sent my girl-friend this moving poem while we were on the brink of ending our relationship. I mentioned in that message that poetry can instruct, proffer wisdom and oftentimes good counsel—as well as it opens the heart and touches the soul. A wonderful poem ! I intend to find this writer’s other work.


  2. WRITING: Poems About Power - Just a new life! - What's Up!

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