Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Animal Spirits"...and Ultrarunning


     The need passed as I grew;
     the mind took over, devising
     paths for that force in me, and the body curled up,
     sedentary, glad to be quiet and read and read,
     save once in a while, when it demanded
     to leap about or to whirl—or later still
     to walk swiftly in wind and rain
     long and far and into the dusk,
     wanting some absolute, some exhaustion.

 
Source: Excerpt from "Animal Spirits" by Denise Levertov, via The Writer's Almanac for 14 May 2013.

As I always note whenever I post a bit of poetry, mots of you can't hit that DELETE key fast enough, the moment you see the verse format.

But this poem is about being an active child, then a largely sedentary adult, except for those times when the body demanded to be used.

People who are active as adults (such as Ultrarunners) know they joy of motion, for the sheer animal pleasure of it.  We know the pains and the pleasures, and the sheer exuberance that comes from going to the edge in an extreme athletic endeavor.

And the beauty is that you get to define what "the edge" is, and how close you care to come to it:

     to walk swiftly in wind and rain
     long and far and into the dusk,
     wanting some absolute, some exhaustion.

  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment