Friday, May 09, 2008

The Hand by Mary Ruefle

This week, a quiet, beautiful poem by Mary Ruefle.


The Hand

The teacher asks a question.
You know the answer, you suspect
you are the only one in the classroom
who knows the answer, because the person
in question is yourself, and on that
you are the greatest living authority,
but you don’t raise your hand.
You raise the top of your desk
and take out an apple.
You look out the window.
You don’t raise your hand and there is
some essential beauty in your fingers,
which aren’t even drumming, but lie
flat and peaceful.
The teacher repeats the question.
Outside the window, on an overhanging branch,
a robin is ruffling its feathers
and spring is in the air.


Mary Ruefle is the author of several books of poetry. She currently teaches at Vermont College.

22 Comments:

Blogger chook said...

'because the person in question is yourself'
How many people who know the answer can keep the knowledge to themselves.
Enjoying your poetic postings
Dave

4:20 PM  
Blogger chook said...

'because the person in question is yourself'
How many people who know the answer can keep the knowledge to themselves.
Enjoying your poetic postings
Dave

4:20 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

...but enough about me and my hand, look how beautiful it is outside...

11:37 PM  
Blogger Chandini said...

If it is about yourself, how could you raise your hands? Your hands would have trembled, though it lies contended and peaceful as of now.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Chucka Stone Designs said...

Maybe the answer was the apple all along. Beautiful! Found you though Ginger's blog.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Scheyenne Zigzag said...

I bet she got very bad marks at school

10:32 PM  
Blogger NikkiSab said...

Sometimes wen in an office, u look outside and envy the people walking n running out dere. I like dis blog

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Blogger Food, she thought. said...

i am waiting for the poem of this week. Not patiently.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

haha! food, she thought....it's difficult to wait till friday, isn't it?

9:35 PM  
Blogger Missy Ricco said...

it is hard to answer questions when the answer means looking inside yourself. That indeed is the most challenging of things to do.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahhh, all single people know the hand too well...

xoxo

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Anonymous Jjlee said...

does anyone know the purpose and message of the poem?

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