Memory, and memories, can become tangled in the reality of current experience. The backyards or gardens of the homes we grew up in somehow shrink over the years. Beloved teachers age and retire. Images and scenes from vacations or holidays rarely remain how we remember them. Even books and poems seem to change over time, becoming sometimes less and sometimes more impactful and profound.
A high school English teacher once told me class that you needed to read Don Quixote by Cervantes three times – once in youth, once in middle age, and once in old age, because, she said, the book would change. I’ve read it twice – in youth and middle age – and discovered she was absolutely correct. Reading it at 40 was not the same as reading it at 17.
Poet Matt Duggan is no stranger to how memory gets tangled. His latest chapbook, The Kingdom, is about, among other things, returning to what’s past, and wondering if the past never really was. Too often it’s not what we remember it to be. And we feel a loss.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.