Sweetness by Stephan Dunn
Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac
with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
and changed nothing in the world
except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving
someone or something, the world shrunk
hand-size, and never seeming small.
I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn’t leave a stain,
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....
Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low
and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief
until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don’t care
where it’s been, or what bitter road
to come so far, to taste so good.
In Stephan Dunn’s poem “Sweetness”, he elaborates on the importance of life and how we deal with the tragic events that occur. He also adds how those with mental disabilities can get away with things that “normal people cannot by acting sweet and innocent. The “sweetness” isn’t necessarily a specific tone but more of an attribute to encourage those who are depressed.
Dunn uses the line, “to make sense of what it means to be alive” to encourage the reader to really think into depth and how fortunate they really are. In the little time that we have on this Earth, we should all be caring for one another instead of judgmental and picky. The tone of “Sweetness” is caring because as the reader keeps scrolling along, they start to realize more and more how life can be taken away very quickly without any kind of...
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