THE THING YOU MUST REMEMBER RSS

THE THING YOU MUST REMEMBER

08 April, 2016: THE THING YOU MUST REMEMBER

READ A POEM

by Maggie Anderson

THE THING YOU MUST REMEMBER

The thing you must remember is how, as a child,
you worked hours in the art room, the teacher’s
hands over yours, molding the little clay dog.
You must remember how nothing mattered
but the imagined dog’s fur, the shape of his ears
and his paws. The gray clay felt dangerous,
your small hands were pressing what you couldn’t
say with your limited words. When the dog’s back
stiffened, then cracked to white shards
in the kiln, you learned how the beautiful
suffers from too much attention, how clumsy
a single vision can grow, and fragile
with trying too hard. The thing you must
remember is the art teacher’s capable
hands: large, rough and grainy,
over yours, holding on.

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“The Thing You Must Remember” by Maggie Anderson from Cold Comfort. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986. Used by permission of the author.

ABOUT TODAY’S POET
Maggie Anderson is the author of four books of poetry, including Windfall: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), A Space Filled With Moving (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992) and Cold Comfort (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986). She has co-edited several thematic anthologies, including A Gathering of Poets (Kent State University Press, 1992), a collection of poems read at the 20th anniversary commemoration of the shootings at Kent State University in 1970, as well as Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School (University of Iowa Press, 1999) and After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose About School (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She was founding director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, and her awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships from the Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts, and the Ohioana Library Award for contributions to the literary arts in Ohio.
 

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Comments
Daune Calovini
Thank you for this. It brought back a beautiful visceral memory of a summer camp experience, laying the goopy paper mache strips onto a balloon. The smell, and how much I loved the process. Bittersweet.
4/8/2016 7:33:34 PM

Claire Keyes
I love the concept of this poem and, of course, the exquisite rendering of language and image. It made me ask myself---what is the thing that I must remember? Will it be as profound? will it take me as deep as this poem by Maggie Anderson?
4/8/2016 5:24:09 PM



READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.