Just a Line to Share

Are you ever reading and you come across something and you say “well damn, that’s just it, isn’t it”? I think that’s the mark of good, tuned writing–somehow it resonates with a truth of emotion, reality, what have you. I was reading some William Carlos Williams just now (his book/manifesto “Spring and All,” featuring many fantastic pieces of writing and pieces about writing), and I just read this line (in the poem “IX”), put the book down, and had to tell y’all:

“In my life the furniture eats me”

Isn’t that great? It might have to do with the context, and it might have to do with the zoom function of life > furniture (similar to Eliot’s life > coffee spoons),  but I think you can admire the line itself for the fact that that’s just it, isn’t it?
A bit of context for that line, an excerpt leading up to and following it:

anything might have happened
You lay relaxed on my knees —
the starry night
spread out warm and blind
above the hospital —


It is unclean
which is not straight to the mark —

In my life the furniture eats me

the chairs, the floor
the walls
which heard your sobs
drank up my emotion —
they which alone know everything

and snitched on us in the morning —

What to want ?”

3 Replies to “Just a Line to Share”

  1. Yeah, sometimes that line just pops into my head out of nowhere, and I’m like: you’re right, Doc.

    Nice link to Eliot (the two couldn’t have hated each other more, in certain ways!) as there is something akin there.

  2. I agree, that’s a pretty awesome line. Whenever I’m reading a poem or book or anything, or even just having a conversation and some amazing line or phrase seems to pop out from whatever context it’s in, I try to jot it down so that I might use it as a writing prompt later on. Some recent ones are these:

    -an accident of sound
    -it was reflecting things I couldn’t see
    -strange is welcome here
    -face full of scream

    I can’t give credit to anyone because I’ve since forgotten where these lines came from. Some of them might have been from me, actually, but I should really start keeping track of my sources.

    So these random thoughts and phrases are always fun to go back to and try to write off of, or work them into an existing poem.

    Thanks for sharing, Evan!

  3. That is a pretty cool line! I also love the follow-up of how the furniture “snitched on us in the morning —” because it brings a new thought to my head when I think of furniture. After all that’s so much of what poetry does: talks about things we are used to discussing but puts them in a totally new light, such as furniture, which in this case is hungry for us. Thanks for sharing!

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