Thursday, April 21, 2022

National Poetry Month: Week 3

To celebrate National Poetry Month, several of us are sharing poetry with you on Thursdays in April. Today's poem is about something that I need to practice more: FORGIVENESS. 

I love this poem because of the imagery it conjures up. The "cuttlefish of my ego that scuttles backwards, spewing out clouds of ink" describes me pretty well when I know I need to apologize or express forgiveness. "Time's slow ambulance drawn by a brace of snails" is the exact way that time seems to move when we are getting over being hurt or need to repair the damage we ourselves may have inflicted. 

by Henry Carlile

I'd like to turn the other cheek,
the one I haven't shaved yet,
but something stops me
like a jab to the solar plexus,
a blow to the immense 
unmissable cuttlefish of my ego
that scuttles backwards
spewing out clouds of ink,
self-consoling platitudes
like she wasn't worth it, or
I'm better off without her,
which of course do not console
because they are platitudes.
And time's slow ambulance
drawn by a brace of snails
arrives too late to do anything
but remind us that this
was the scene of an accident
long after the damage
has been swept away. 


Carlile, Henry. "Forgiveness", Poetry, February 2001. 
You can find out more about the poet here


Be sure to check in with KymKat, and Sarah for more poems of forgiveness today, and join us next Thursday for our final week of celebration of National Poetry Month. (And remember that any time is good for poetry, not just Thursdays in April!)


  1. Sometimes forgiving feels like the slight didn't matter and that is when it is really hard to forgive.

  2. What a great poem! I will now picture a cuttlefish spewing ink any time I am angry at someone.

    I suspect we could all do a better job of forgiving others. I know it's supposed to be much healthier to let things go, but it's so hard!

  3. Oh, this is a good one, Bonny. What perfect imagery! It really does get to the heart . . . of the challenges of forgiveness.

  4. Forgiveness isn't always easy but it can be a gift to ourselves.

  5. What incredible imagery! Wow! Henry Carlile is speaking to my forgiveness struggles... yikes!

    Thank you so much for sharing!


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