‘In The Waiting Room’ by Laura Sims

In her post for Poetry Foundation, Laura Sims discusses the strange inspiration that waiting rooms can bring, and how they can be “conducive to poetry”. Here is an extract:

The speaker of Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘In the Waiting Room’ has a famously crucial moment in a doctor’s office, too. She looks around at all the adults, all the human beings surrounding her, and sees only body parts, or items of clothing: knees, boots, and “pairs of hands / lying under the lamps.” It’s like a scene from a horror movie…Even as she’s awakening to her self, her I-ness, she’s also awakening to her them-ness, and it is terrible, necessary, and awesome.

But ultimately unsustainable. The parted veil must fall back into place.

Then I was back in it.
The War was on. Outside,
in Worcester, Massachussetts,
were night and slush and cold,
and it was still the fifth
of February, 1918.

For the full article, visit bit.ly/YZc81c

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