Monday, July 9, 2007

Robert Hass: Picking Blackberries with a Friend Who Has Been Reading Jacques Lacan

Ah, summer. Berry season! We've been eating fresh strawberries and watching blueberries fruit in our backyard. There's something about picking fresh berries and popping the ripe fruit straight into your mouth that comes close to pure joy.

Recently, I picked up the Robert Hass book, Praise, and was reminded of how much I love the poem "Picking Blackberries with a Friend Who Has Been Reading Jacques Lacan." Jacques Lacan, the writer mentioned in the title, was a famous French psychoanalyst. I love the way Robert Hass and his friend leave the theory and analysis (object and subject) behind in order to embrace the truly great things in life: blackberry juice and nostalgia and joy, even (and especially) in the midst of drought.

Picking Blackberries with a Friend Who Has Been Reading Jacques Lacan

August is dust here. Drought
stuns the road,
but juice gathers in the berries.

We pick them in the hot
slow-motion of midmorning.
Charlie is exclaiming:

for him it is twenty years ago
and raspberries and Vermont.
We have stopped talking

about L'Histoire de la vérité,
about subject and object
and the mediation of desire.

Our ears are stoppered
in the bee-hum. And Charlie,
laughing wonderfully,

beard stained purple
by the word juice,
goes to get a bigger pot.

1 comment:

Katy said...

He captures Vermont, captures me.