Short Talk on Pain
Lawns and fields and hills and wide old velvet
sleeves, green things. They stretch, fold, roll away,
unfurl and calm the eye. Look lush in paintings.
Battles are fought on greens. Or you could spread
a meal and sup. How secretly they lie, floors of
distant forests. Next comes the grave, in many a
poem about green. But this is not a poem. This is a
billboard for frozen green peas. Frozen green peas
are good for pain.
Copyright © 2023 by Anne Carson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 25, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
“This box is for a statement about the Poem.
Surely a poem is what remains unboxed.
And although the first sentence above may sound merely procedural,
yet you see its necessity for appreciating the second sentence.
On the untidy border between those two
lies everything you want the Day to give you.
I hope it does.”