Monday, January 18, 2010

I Look for Ghosts

Note: I looked for more information on the history of this poem, titled, Margaret's Affliction" and upon its writing, his sister was alive. It was written for a woman searching for her son. Hence the anger, desperation that bleeds through the courtly lines. Still. Imagine revisiting these words after the death of his beloved sister... that frustration would be more personal.

I think Wordsworth was probably thinking of his sister when he wrote

I look for ghosts; but none will force
Their way to me; 'tis falsely said
That ever there was intercourse
Between the living and the dead.


And I think he was angry. I think he felt lied to; maybe he'd heard others say they'd seen the ghost of a loved one. Maybe he'd read of hauntings or sightings, the kind of thing that serves to titillate or inspire fear until you lose someone. He had crossed a line, and it changed everything.

Sometimes, I look for ghosts. I don't actually expect to see any, but there has been a moment or two that I've looked for my Grandpa Beasley, a mechanic with the soul of a writer. Or the boy who was hit by a car when I was 6 -- I still wonder about him. I am a Christian and I believe our souls go somewhere when we die, so that's another reason I don't think I'll ever see these ghosts: my grandfather's hands, laid large on the table to reiterate a point or a boy on a bicycle, transparent and eternally six.

But still. Sometimes. Late at night or very early in the gray morning, I look for ghosts.

1 comment:

  1. I see ghosts all about me. Not gray immaterial ghosts, but memories, household items associated with people gone.
    WF: sperflu

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